Teams are gearing up to keep South Tyneside moving as the winter weather hits.
Yellow and Amber weather warnings are in place for the North East over the next few days, with Met Office forecasters warning snow could cause transport disruption and power cuts.
However, South Tyneside Council has said plans are in place and teams are on standby to deal with the worst Jack Frost has to offer.
The council said it will be working with its partners at South Tyneside Homes and the emergency services to safeguard vulnerable residents, keep roads as clear as possible and ensure any disruption to services is kept to an absolute minimum.
Gritting vehicles on standby, and operations will focus on major roads, bus routes and steep banks as well as priority footpaths in shopping areas, around schools and on steps and footbridges with pre-gritting taking place on priority routes as and when the temperature drops.
Councillor Moira Smith, lead member for Area Management and Community Safety at South Tyneside Council, said: “We are committed to doing our utmost to keep South Tyneside moving with a well-developed winter maintenance plan in place to prepare for any adverse weather.
“Our workers are ready to react quickly to any sudden changes in conditions and are dedicated to working around the clock if necessary to keep the Borough moving and to maintain public safety.
“We always pre-salt our priority routes ahead of the ice and snow coming, with pre-salt runs triggered by advance weather forecasts from the Met Office. Though it is important to note that the effect of rock salt depends to a great extent on moving traffic to make it work effectively – it is not an immediate fix.
“Our highways maintenance team will continue to clear roads and footpaths of snow and ice for as long as is needed to keep disruption to a minimum, which is good news for households, communities, school runs and businesses. However, we would like to remind people that we must clear our planned routes first and would ask for patience during these times.”
South Tyneside Council operates a gritting night shift from 1 November to 31 March and has a fleet of four gritting wagons and a towable gritter. There are also six pedestrian-operated salt spreaders and 30 hand salters for hard-to-reach footway areas.
The council also maintains more than 160 grit bins that are used to help clear footpaths, shopping centre and anywhere which may be hazardous to the public in the event of ice and snow. These bins are available across the Borough to assist Council staff in their gritting operations and are not for private use.
Gritting the Borough’s 311km of priority routes takes around 2.5 hours to complete.
Motorists are advised to take greater care than normal in winter driving conditions and to check the local weather forecasts and information websites.
For further details about gritting routes, grit bin locations and a wide range of winter-related advice and information, visit the Council’s website at www.southtyneside.gov.uk or call the Customer Contact Centre on (0191) 427 7000.