Gritting teams keep region on the move
GRITTING teams will be out in force today as local authorities attempt to keep the region's roads running during the big freeze.
But councils say the job is being made difficult in certain areas with abandoned vehicles causing an obstruction for their fleet of trucks.
And residents claim many grit bins have been left empty for weeks, despite the predicted icy blast.
Stoke-on-Trent City Council sent out eight wagons, fitted with ploughs, yesterday at 6am, 9.30am and 1.30pm. A meeting was expected to be held in the evening to discuss the weekend operation.
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The authority also dispatched 24 workers to grit footpaths and fill up bins.
Staffordshire County Council has 50 gritters and 60 snowploughs based at six depots across the county. It also has 20,000 tonnes of salt in reserve.
Councillor Mike Maryon, the county council's highways leader, said: "Our highways crews have done a tremendous job gritting and clearing snow from the roads day and night.
"Often people think their road has not been gritted because the snow is still there.
"In fact, the grit just helps prevent snow sticking to the surface and makes our on-going gritting of routes even more effective.
"But with freezing temperatures over the next few days, the snow is here to stay for a while and motorists still need to be extra careful on the roads until early next week."
Cheshire East Council has spread around 800 tonnes of salt since Thursday evening with more in reserve.
The authority has also dispatched an additional 100 workers to help clear its network.
Anne James, aged 56, who is currently living with a friend at Rosemary Place in Sneyd Green, has called on the city council to fill up the grit bin the neighbourhood.
She said: "It is currently empty. There are old people here and we really need something to put down."
The AA reported more than 130 calls to motorists being stuck in the snow with the West Midlands considered one of the hardest hit areas.
Throughout yesterday a number of collisions and breakdowns were reported on the region's roads on both the A50 and A500.