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Gritters spread 240 tonnes of salt on Bromley roads to tame ‘beast from the east’

PUBLISHED: 09:36 27 February 2018 | UPDATED: 09:36 27 February 2018

Bromley Council has spread around 240 tonnes of salt on the borough's roads between Sunday and Tuesday morning. Picture: Bromley Council

Bromley Council has spread around 240 tonnes of salt on the borough's roads between Sunday and Tuesday morning. Picture: Bromley Council

Archant

Gritting lorries were out on the roads of Bromley again in the early hours of the morning after warnings the “beast from the east” would dump snow on the borough.

The council has used about 240 tonnes of salt since Sunday, although Bromley hasn’t had as much snow as some other parts of Kent. However, forecasts predict more over the next couple of days.

Crews have been salting town centre pavements and other areas of high pedestrian footfall such as on the approaches to schools and outside train stations.

The council’s gritting fleet and snow clearance teams are on standby, ready to clear snow and apply additional salt if needed.

Snow Friends, residents who have pledged to help clear snow from residential pavements, have also been alerted to the probability of snow locally.

Councillor William Huntington-Thresher said: “Our gritting crews are typically among the most prepared in London, with one of the largest salt stocks available for use over the winter period. Mindful of the low temperatures forecast for the entire week, we will be doing what we can to keep traffic across the borough moving as ever but motorists should drive according to the conditions and remember that even with our extensive gritting programme, not every road will be gritted and remain reliant on local forecasts, which can and do change.”

He added: “I would like to thank our Snow Friends for their highly valued commitment at this time, being willing to clear snow from their street. In the event of snow, the first 24 hours is crucial from a clearance perspective, before it inevitably turns to ice and even if you’re not a ‘signed-up’ Snow Friend, if you are able to clear snow from outside your home, this would be a welcome help.”

Salt is routinely used to prevent ice or frost forming. To ensure that this is effective, in periods of more extreme wintry weather, salting needs to take place on a frequent basis.

The Council’s nine purpose-built gritting vehicles, which are equipped with GPS tracking for accuracy, focus salting operations on the main 200 miles of road out of the 500 miles of borough roads and in periods of extreme weather, this is extended to 280 miles, which are then prioritised still further, with snow clearance only taking place on the priority routes. The gritting vehicles and snow friend volunteers are further supplemented by grit bins strategically located across the borough’s roads.

When snow falls, the snow needs to be removed from the road, often with a squeegee or snow plough, and then salt is applied. In addition to snow clearance on roads included as a priority route, snow is also cleared from pavements in areas of high pedestrian footfall, including town centre locations and approaches to transport interchanges.

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