Getting ready for the snow in Kirklees
With an amber weather warning for snow tomorrow in our area, we’ve been preparing for the ‘beast from the east’ – here are 7 things you might need to know…
1. We are out gritting
We’ve had a gritter out over the higher ground today and we’re sending them all out again to grit all the priority routes at 6pm on Monday 26 February and again at 5am on Tuesday 27. Overnight we’ll have a night patrol monitoring the weather and we’ll do more if needs be.
We grit 53% of the road network in Kirklees – the national average is 41%. We can’t be everywhere all of the time though, so if you don’t spot one of the gritters when you are out, please don’t assume that means we are not gritting.
And, whilst we don’t grit pavements as standard, because the forecast is looking bad for this week we have gritted the pavements in Huddersfield and Dewsbury town centres (Monday afternoon) and we are doing car parks too. Please use the grit from the grit bins to do the paths near your house if you are able.
2. We are refilling empty grit bins
Grit bins are there so that everyone can do their bit and grit the paths and side roads near them; the grit works best if it is put down before the snow falls. We have recently refilled all 1,450 bins, but some have been reported as empty already. We are trying to get to these ahead of the bad weather; if the one near you has no salt in please email us and we will add it to the list.
Unfortunately we have no new grit bins to put out, but it is sometimes possible to get one moved from nearby. Please contact your local councillor to see if this could happen near you.
Please do not use salt from grit bins for private drives or paths.
3. We are offering all rough sleepers a warm bed for the night
Our Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP) is currently activated which means we will arrange emergency accommodation for any rough sleeper locally. Help can be provided through the Housing Solutions Service (01484 221350) between 9am and 5pm or through the Emergency Duty Team (01484 414933) out of hours.
4. We have 4 x 4’s on standby
In case the weather is really bad we have eight 4×4 vehicles ready to help care workers reach residents who need urgent care. We also help people who need to get to urgent hospital appointments in bad weather that can’t be postponed. If you know someone who needs this help please call 01484 414888 or ask the hospital to call us.
5. We will share school closures on our website
Whether a school is open or closed is down to the decision of the Head teacher, and they will get in touch with us to let us know. We list the schools that are closed on our website and the majority will let parents know direct too.
6. We all need to work together to help others
In bad weather we do all we can to make sure people are safe and we work closely with health teams and hospitals too. But we also need you to help. Please check in on elderly/vulnerable neighbours and relatives – offer to pop to the shops or chemist to save them a trip out. There are some tips in our Tips to stay warm this Winter article that you might find useful to pass on.
7. Snow can still settle on a gritted road and grit is not guaranteed to stop any ice forming
Yes, it is true unfortunately. Even if you can see we have gritted, the road might still be icy, and on roads that we do not grit we are expecting driving conditions to be dangerous. So please drive to the conditions, leave extra times for journeys and consider whether a journey could be postponed if it is really bad.