Snow Friends prepare for winter alongside gritting crews

Published Tuesday, 3 November 2015

As gritting crews and Snow Friends prepare for winter, interested resident groups are being invited to join the scheme before the onset of winter.

The army of Snow Friends across the borough who clear snow from their residential area are being advised to make sure they are prepared for snow this winter.  The news follows preparations being made to ensure that the council’s dedicated gritting vehicles are ready for action, with enough salt stored for winter conditions ahead.

The Snow Friend groups will again be using council supplied scoops to clear snow from residential streets which are not generally part of the council’s gritting or snow clearing routes.  New volunteers representing other groups are invited to apply to join the scheme.

“Whilst we haven’t seen snow for a few years now and from an operational point of view are hoping that we don’t see any this winter either, at this time of year our minds obviously turn to preparing as best we can for the unpredictability of the season.  With the council’s gritting crews continuing to attend all key arterial routes across the borough, Bromley’s outstanding existing Snow Friends and Snow Friends groups, already play crucial roles in their roads in extreme weather, in terms of bringing residents together, looking after vulnerable neighbours and actually clearing snow” said Councillor Colin Smith, Executive Councillor for Environment.. 

Councillor Smith continues “We are currently reminding all co-ordinators to please make sure they are fully provisioned for the worst and likewise asking any potentially new Groups who might wish to join the initiative, to please let us know quickly at this stage.  If and when snow actually arrives, it will be too late to assist logistically in terms of dispensing scoops and salt, so time really is of the essence.”  

The advice to Snow Friends is that especially in the time sensitive first 24 hours of snowfall, clearing snow from pavements before the snow turns to ice is critical. The council will be working with all of these groups over the winter months, warning co-ordinators of when snow is forecast locally.  By co-ordinating clearance work on smaller residential roads with Resident Associations, the council hopes that even more pavements will be cleared with the support of local residents.

The council’s nine dedicated gritting vehicles routinely salt the main 260 miles of road out of the 500 miles of borough roads when road temperatures are predicted to be freezing.  In periods of extreme wintry weather salting takes place a frequent basis.  When snow falls, the snow needs to be removed from the road, often with a squeegee or snow plough, and then salt is applied.  The council’s snow clearance crews also work to clear snow from pavements across the borough, with attention focussed on areas such as town centres, outside schools and transport interchanges.  This work still leaves many roads and pavements ‘untreated’, with Snow Friends able to support the work in their street.

The council’s website details where the winter gritting routes are, with a film showing what both Snow Friends and the council do over the winter period.  Resident Associations and other community groups are invited to join the council’s Snow Friends initiative and view the programme at www.bromley.gov.uk/winter or call 0300 3030 8658.     

ENDS
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, please contact Andrew Rogers, Communications Advisor, on 020 8461 7670 or email andrew.rogers@bromley.gov.uk