Search

Gritters response defended by chiefs

PUBLISHED: 09:43 24 December 2009 | UPDATED: 09:02 01 August 2010

HIGHWAYS officials have insisted that gritters are working round the clock to keep roads clear - despite complaints from some drivers that they have seen very few since the first snow fell.

HIGHWAYS officials have insisted that gritters are working round the clock to keep roads clear - despite complaints from some drivers that they have seen very few since the first snow fell.

Keith Bridges from the Magnus Group based at Great Blakenham works from 7pm until the early hours - and said he had seen very little gritting activity on either major routes like the A12 and A14 or other roads that are the responsibility of the county council.

He said: “Yesterday when I arrived at work at 7pm I saw the county's gritting depot all closed up and the lorries sitting there.

“At 2am there was activity there - but I'd seen no gritters out again. They just don't seem to be doing very much at the moment unlike previous occasions when we've had this kind of snow and ice.

“A lot of the routes that we thought were priority one and two around here are still covered with compacted snow and are very hazardous.”

A spokeswoman for Suffolk County Council said their gritters had been working around the clock since the first snowfall last Thursday.

She said: “We have had gritters out on priority one and two roads constantly since then - for example the old A45 between Blakenham and Stowmarket has been gritted 20 times.

“It may well be that the lorries were in the depot at 7pm, but they had been out on rounds at 2.30pm and 5pm and were being scrubbed down and refilled for another round in the evening.”

Highways Agency gritters keep the A14 and A12 south of Ipswich clear.

A spokeswoman for the agency said: "Our winter maintenance teams have worked throughout the day and night from 17 December onwards on the A14 in Suffolk, A12 between Ipswich and the M25.

“There are 10 specified treatment routes, each with a dedicated spreader assigned to them, working from depots at Red Lodge, Gt Blakenham and Ardleigh, and additional spreaders and ploughs were mobilised to treat these routes during this period.

“We continue to closely monitor the situation on roads in East Anglia and drivers are advised to take additional care, in particular leaving sufficient distance between vehicles to allow themselves to brake and stop safely."

Meanwhile there might still be some snow on the ground - but forecasters are not expecting 2009 to be an official White Christmas in East Anglia.

Experts at the government's Met Office say temperatures tomorrow are set to rise to 4C and it is expected to be mainly dry with an outside chance of drizzle.

This could fall as sleet if the temperature falls - but a thaw is expected to start on Boxing Day with temperatures reaching a balmy 8C.

By Sunday heavy rain and a temperature of 7C could wash any remaining snow away. And tonight could be the last night of sub-zero overnight temperatures.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Beccles and Bungay Journal

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists