Roads to be gritted this afternoon

GRITTERS will be out in force on Suffolk's main roads this afternoon to take advantage of the briefly abating weather.

Simon Tomlinson

GRITTERS will be out in force on Suffolk's main roads this afternoon to take advantage of the briefly abating weather.

The county's A and B roads plus those near emergency services buildings - priority one routes - will be treated from 4pm with parts of the minor road network being dealt with were necessary.

These will gritted again from 3am tomorrow followed by selective sanding of priority two routes from 5.30am with particular attention to access to schools.

Suffolk County Council's four-day forecast predicts a slight respite from the snow for tomorrow and Tuesday, but a possibility of more snow on Wednesday.

A spokeswoman for Suffolk County Council, which is responsible for gritting, urged motorists not to be complacent because the snow was melting.

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She said: “Conditions are almost certainly going to make for difficult driving conditions at times. We will be doing our best to keep the main routes accessible.

“Drivers need to be aware that even if the snow does stop, the temperatures will remain low and road conditions will remain difficult, so care should be taken.”

A Government minister today praised the efforts of the region's gritting teams in “exceptional conditions”.

Barbara Follett, minister for the East of England, said: “The people of this country are working together, as they always do, to respond to the multiple difficulties that these conditions are causing.

“Those of us tucked up safe and warm in our homes owe a huge debt of gratitude to the men and women working around the clock to grit our roads, keep hospitals running and our shops supplied.”

The Government has come in for criticism in recent days for “commandeering” salt supplies from local authorities and diverting it to other areas of the country.

However, Mrs Follett said it was crucial to make sure the salt goes to areas in most need.

She said: “These are exceptional conditions - the like of which we have not seen for nearly 30 years - and we probably have at least another week of snow and freezing conditions to contend with.

“I know that Britain's salt miners are working 24/7 to ensure that local authorities get the supplies they need. This is critical and the Government is working with the Highways Agency and the Local Government Association to make sure that those who need it most get it first.

“We must all use salt wisely - mixing it to go further and spreading it where it gives the greatest benefit. This is essential until the new stocks arrive.”

She said National Grid have confirmed they have “plenty of gas” in the system despite exceptional demand.