Gritting teams out in force tonight to treat Swindon’s major routes
Major routes will continue to be treated by Swindon Borough Council’s gritting crews with freezing temperatures set to hit the town tonight and into tomorrow.Published: Friday, 1st February 2019
The local authority’s Highways team has been battling around the clock to treat 200 miles of the borough’s strategic road network with more than 150 tonnes of salt. Snow ploughs were dispatched to reopen both Kingshill Road and Victoria Road this afternoon. The A346 between Swindon and Marlborough has also reopened.
Current forecasts show the snow will last until the early part of this evening before turning to sleet. Temperatures will then drop below zero with widespread ice on the road.
Motorists are being reminded to only travel if it is essential as, although the majority of the main routes are passable with care, many of the rural routes remain challenging.
A decision on whether to re-open the Household Waste Recycling Centre will be made early tomorrow morning depending on how the weather conditions unfold.
The Council’s housing repairs service has also been affected, but priority is being given to emergency heating calls.
Waste collections were suspended across Swindon this morning and residents who are affected should bring their bins in, when it is safe to do so, and put them back out for collection on Monday morning (4 Feb).
Council staff braved the elements to grit paths and clear snow from sheltered housing schemes today, while extra Homeline staff were on standby with 4x4 vehicles to help vulnerable residents as required.
The library service has also been affected by the weather with four of the Council’s five core libraries, Central, North, West Swindon and Highworth, operating an Extended Access service this weekend.
Meanwhile, the Community Meals service has been affected by the weather and customers and family members have been contacted. It is hoped the service will be up and running as soon as road conditions improve. Lydiard Park is expected to be open tomorrow but the weekly Park Run has been cancelled.
Updates on Council services, including libraries and parks, are available via the home page of the Council’s website: www.swindon.gov.uk
Councillor David Renard, Leader of Swindon Borough Council, said: “I hope everyone stays safe and warm during the harsh weather conditions we are currently experiencing.
“Our gritting crews have been working non-stop to keep the roads clear, so I would like to say a massive thank you to them.
“I urge people to check the Council’s website and social media channels for any updates to services and if you have to venture out on to the roads, please take extra care on your journeys.”
When the temperature drops, some people are at increased risk of developing serious health conditions, falls and injuries. The Council is encouraging people to keep warm and well, aiming for temperatures of 18C indoors, to eat more fruit and vegetables and to keep active.
Residents can also get updates on Twitter @SwindonCouncil or on Facebook by searching ‘Swindon Borough Council’.
Waste and recycling collections
All waste and recycling collections were suspended today (1 Feb) due to the bad weather so residents should take their bins back in, if it is safe to do so. Any waste not collected today should be put back out on Monday (4 Feb) when normal service will be resumed (weather permitting). Outstanding waste will be collected as soon as possible over the course of next week so please leave your waste out until it is collected.
An Extended Access service will be available in the majority of the Council’s five core libraries.
Extended Access services will be available until 8pm this evening at Central, Highworth, North Swindon and West Swindon libraries. The same libraries will have an Extended Access service between 8am and 8pm tomorrow. Park Library will not be open.
On Sunday (3 Feb), Central Library will be open as normal but will be reviewed if the weather does not improve. Extended Access will be available from 8am to 11am and from 4.15pm to 8pm. There will be staffed hours between 11am and 3pm.
Extended Access services at Highworth, North Swindon and West Swindon will continue as normal between 8am and 8pm.
Please check school websites and listen to local radio for updates on plans for Monday.
Transport and travel
Our gritters will continue to spread salt and plough the main routes, where appropriate. Some roads may also be closed if they become too dangerous, especially steep hills. The Council’s Tree Team are also on standby to clear any fallen trees as a result of snow. Bus services may also stop and local bus company websites will have further updates.
The Council has already implemented the Severe Weather Emergency Protocol for rough sleepers. People can alert the Council to rough sleepers in need of support by visiting www.streetlink.org.uk