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Dec 04 2012

Harrow’s Gritting Team in Action as Cold Weather Grips

Harrow Council has stockpiled enough salt to ensure its fleet of gritting vehicles can keep the borough moving as temperatures continue to drop throughout winter. As the cold weather settles in, the team will receive weather updates four times a day, at 11am, 5pm, 11pm and 3am, and decide whether it is necessary to begin or continue gritting.

The gritting service is managed by the council and delivered by its contractor May Gurney. It has six gritters in its main fleet, as well as a spare which is used if it is needed. They can be out on the roads within an hour and are available around the clock.

Harrow shares its salt stock with Brent and each borough has just over 2400 tonnes stockpiled. In the last two winters we have used approximately 1500 tonnes each year so we are confident that our stock is sufficient.

We also have a number of tips that residents can follow in the event of freezing weather:

  • Prevent slips – contrary to popular belief, there is no law preventing residents from clearing snow and ice outside their home or in public places but it is important to do it safely. Pay extra attention to steps and steep pathways.
  • Clear snow or ice early – It’s easier to move fresh snow rather than snow packed hard by people walking on it. Remove the top layer in the morning so sunshine will help melt ice, then sparingly spread the path with salt to stop it refreezing.
  • Use salt or sand, not water – Do not use hot water to melt snow as it may form slippery black ice. Use table or dishwasher salt – a tablespoon for each square metre. Don’t use salt found in salting bins as this is needed to keep roads clear.
  • Take care where you move the snow – when shoveling snow, consider where you put it so it does not block other people’s paths or drains.
  • Check your neighbours – especially if they are elderly or disabled, make sure they are warm and well-stocked up with food and other essentials. Offer to clear their pathways too.

Harrow Council Portfolio Holder for Environment and Community Safety, Cllr Phillip O’Dell, said: “Everyone in the borough can do their bit to make a difference during the cold winter, whether it’s clearing snow from outside their own home, or checking on the welfare of a neighbour. The Council is well-prepared for the cold weather, with a good stock of salt and a dedicated gritting team.”

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