UK snow: Arctic blast cold snap warning of snow and ice extended by Met Office as South Tyneside chiefs reassure families after coldest night of 2022
Town hall bosses have pledged to keep South Tyneside running as the UK braces for more freezing weather.
South Shields is believed to have recorded its coldest temperature of 2022 in the early hours of Tuesday (December 13), with the mercury dropping to a low of -7°C.
Earlier in the week, the Met Office warned of potential disruption from snow and ice across the North East, an alert which has now been extended to Friday (December 16) at least.
But while public transport services are expected to be affected by the wintry conditions, bosses at South Tyneside Council have promised plans are in place to keep tabs on vulnerable residents and ensure main roads are kept as clear as possible.
The borough's designated ‘Warm Space’ venues will also remain open, where possible.
Cllr Ernest Gibson, cabinet member for Transport and Neighbourhoods, said: “We have a winter maintenance plan in place to deal with this type of weather, with salt stockpiled and the Council ready to react whenever conditions suddenly take a turn for the worse.
“Our teams work around the clock wherever necessary with a focus on keeping priority routes clear.
“They are working in difficult conditions clearing snow and ice to ensure busy roads and footpaths are safe for the public and so that vulnerable people can get out and about safely.
“We always pre-salt our priority routes ahead of ice and snow coming, with pre-salt runs triggered by advance weather forecasts from our forecast provider DTN.
"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 and handy estates teams will continue to clear busy roads and footpaths of snow and ice for as long as is needed to keep disruption to a minimum – however, we would like to remind people that we must clear our priority routes first.”
The Council has a fleet of six gritting wagons and maintains more than 200 grit bins to help clear areas which may become hazardous due to snow and ice – but the public has been reminded these are “to help council staff in their gritting operations and are not for private use”.