Council gears up for cold spell

With a cold blast hitting the whole of the UK in the coming days, Cornwall Council is ready and prepared to deal with any problems the weather may bring.

Officers from our Emergency Management service are monitoring the weather situation closely and are liaising with staff from other Council services and partner agencies to respond if required.

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The Council’s gritters will be out whenever there is a risk of ice or snow, aiming to apply salt before the onset of freezing.  CORMAC carries out precautionary salting on 1400km of the most heavily trafficked A and B roads which between them are responsible for around 80% of traffic movements.

The Council recently took stock of a top-up delivery of salt from Northern Ireland, which was unloaded at Fowey Docks and transferred to depots across Cornwall.

Even where a road has been gritted, motorists should never assume that a road is safe as black ice, freezing rain and sudden hail storms as well as snow can lead to hazardous driving conditions.

 

Councillor Geoff Brown, portfolio holder for transport, said:  “If we see really bad weather, we’re advising people to avoid travelling unless their journey is essential. If you have to drive, please take extra care and drive in accordance to the road and weather conditions.

“Reduce your speed, allow extra distance between yourself and other vehicles, and keep an eye out for pedestrians.  Remember, roads can still be treacherously icy even when the sun is shining, so take extra care.”

One of the other key areas for concern will be for rough sleepers across Cornwall, who are left extremely vulnerable when the weather gets cold.

The Council, in partnership with Cornwall Housing, St Petroc’s Society and other organisations, will be providing emergency accommodation and other services over the next few days as temperatures are predicted to fall.  

Residents concerned about someone sleeping rough can contact  Streetlink – a 24/7 website, mobile app which can be downloaded free from iTunes and Google Play stores and phone line (03005000914) which allows anyone who has a concern, to send out an alert about the location of someone sleeping rough.

Streetlink will then pass on the information to St Petroc’s Assertive Outreach Team so that they find, engage with the person and connect them with support within 24 hours.

Andrew Mitchell, portfolio holder for homes, said:  “We work all year round with rough sleepers to help them find permanent accommodation, and to help them access support services. Due to their vulnerability to cold weather, we will be doing all we can to ensure they have access to warmth and shelter during any extreme weather.”

If we see weather which affects schools or rubbish collection, information will be available on the Council’s website ww.cornwall.gov.uk/snow and on the Council’s Twitter feed - @CornwallCouncil.