People in South Tyneside are being warned to brace themselves for severe weather over the next few days.
Plans are in place to make sure the borough keeps moving as the Met Office issued a warning yesterday that there’s a 90 per cent chance of snow and icy conditions on their way.
The amber warning – which is the second most serious – has been put in place until noon on Tuesday and temperatures could drop to below zero.
South Tyneside Council is working with its partners at South Tyneside Homes and the emergency services to safeguard vulnerable residents and keep any disruption to services to a minimum.
Coun Tracey Dixon, lead member for area management and community safety, said: “We have a well-developed winter maintenance plan in place to prepare for any cold snaps we experience over the coming months.
“This involves working closely with Northumbria Police and other emergency services and receiving regular weather updates to ensure that our teams can react quickly to any sudden changes in weather conditions.
“We have a stockpile of salt to help us keep our key priority routes clear of ice and our dedicated team is ready to work around the clock if necessary to keep the borough moving and to maintain public safety.
“We must clear our planned routes first and would ask people to be patient. We are committed to doing our utmost to keep South Tyneside moving this winter, which is good for school runs and businesses.”
While the gritters will be out, motorists are advised to take greater care than normal in winter driving conditions and to check the local weather forecasts and information websites.
Health experts are also warning people to take care and wrap up warm.
Dr Angie Bone, head of extreme events at Public Health England, said: “Parts of England are really going to feel cold for the next few days, so it’s really important people take extra care when out and about.
“It’s worth remembering that most outdoor slips, trips and falls in weather like this are of those who are of working age, accidents can happen to anyone. So if you’re heading out, wear lots of thin layers and shoes with a good, slip-resistant grip.
“If you’re staying indoors, have plenty of warm food and drinks to stay warm. Try to maintain indoor temperatures to at least 18C, particularly if you are not mobile, have long- term illness or are over 65, and check weather forecasts and plan your day around them.
The latest weather updates are available at www.metoffice.gov.uk For further information about gritting routes, grit bin locations and a whole host of winter-related information, visit South Tyneside Council’s website at www.southtyneside.info or by phone 427 7000.