Monday, 13 December 2010

BIG FREEZE UPDATE - 14.1.10, 8:00am

Waste collections will continue to take place where roads have been treated. Households whose scheduled collection is Thursday are asked to put their waste out for collection where it is safe to do so. Members of the public can also take their waste to special collection points. Recycling Centres are planned to open. Some schools are closed on Thursday. See below for further details.

Weather Forecast

The Met Office forecast indicates that there will be cold weather on Thursday with freezing road temperatures towards the evening. As a result, highways are expected to remain very icy. Road and pavement conditions will remain extremely hazardous. The Met Office has advised that the snowfall is dying out and no further snowfall is expected after this band of weather has passed through, although night time road temperatures are likely to stay around freezing,
The medium-term weather forecast indicates the very cold weather is likely come to an end towards the weekend where there is likely to be a thaw. However, low overnight temperatures will mean a continued risk of icy roads, especially on untreated routes. The Council advises anybody to plan carefully for any journeys and keep a close eye on the weather forecast. The Council is liaising with partners such as police, fire and the NHS Primary Care Trust to coordinate efforts.

Highways update

The Council gritting fleet were out on Wednesday evening to keep prioritised routes open, which are passable with care. There has been some snow drifting on higher grounds. Drivers should take special care on untreated roads and hills. Gritting crews remain available around the clock to tackle any specific problems on the main network.
Central Government is now influencing the salt supply chain and has instructed all local Councils to reduce the use of salt by 25%. The Council must continue to ration the available supplies for priority routes because of this decision and the predicted freezing road temperatures.
Because the Council must focus its resources on priority routes and reduce salt consumption by 25%, side roads will not be gritted and there will be very limited salting of pavements. The Council will continue to monitor road conditions and will provide additional salting and gritting on priority routes when required.
Highways officers have worked extremely hard to secure salt deliveries and we now have enough salt for our state-of-the-art gritting fleet to comfortably take us into next week and spread grit across 253 miles. That is 37% of the road network – a figure considerably above the national average of 30%.
As a consequence of the predicted sub-zero road temperatures and uncertainty surrounding the national salt supply chain, the Council must now prioritise which grit bins will be refilled by considering the needs of local communities, surrounding terrain and ability to access the main road network. The Council relies upon the public to tell us when grit bins are empty and we can be contacted 24 hours a day on the Council Connect line.
People are asked not to travel to the Council Salt Barn in Clutton to request salt because of the need to prioritise our stocks for key transport routes. We suggest visiting your local builder’s merchants.
Members of the Public should contact the Police direct with road closure requests. The Council does not have the powers to make emergency closures of roads in these circumstances. The Council works closely with the emergency services and if we are requested by the Police to close a road we will implement a physical closure as far as our resources permit.

Public spaces and Car Parks

Council staff continue to clear shopping areas and car parks where resources allow and once priority routes have been attended to. However, there will be no further salting in these areas until the further supplies of salt can be guaranteed.
Council staff have worked hard to improve site conditions by treating the surface at Charlotte Street car park. Following an inspection, this car park is now open but drivers should use caution because the surface is slushy. All car parks are open.
Drivers are asked to drive and park their vehicles considerately during the cold weather. They should consider how their parking will affect the pedestrian use of road safety measures like zebra crossings and dropped kerbs.

Schools update

Some schools are closed or partially open on Thursday. The latest schools information can be found at
Parents/ guardians can also listen to their local radio station for information. Parents/ guardians should assume that Council-run transport to and from the school will attempt to run.

Waste Collections

Households where roads have been treated and are scheduled for a collection are asked to leave their waste out for collection on Thursday. Our drivers will be using their discretion to determine where vehicles can operate safely and it is safe underfoot. All other households are asked not to put out their waste for collection on Thursday. To minimise the waste collection disruption caused by the bad weather conditions, the Council has set-up 5 staffed waste collection points where refuse collection vehicles will be located.
  • Bath City Football Club- Twerton High Street, Twerton, Bath;
  •  Co-op Car Park - Broadmead Lane, Keynsham;
  • Radco Car park, Radstock; (we have changed location from The Hollies car park to improve accessibility)
  • Tesco Car Park, Old Mills, Paulton;
  • Morrisons Car Park, London Road, Bath (this is the only location where a recycling vehicle is available).
Trained waste disposal staff will be available to help members of the public who take their waste and recycling to these locations.
The Council waste and recycling collection services were cancelled on Wednesday 6th January, Thursday 7th, and Friday 8th last week. This was because of the conditions under foot and on side roads where heavy waste collection vehicles may have slid on ice and could have seriously damaged cars and/ or seriously injured pedestrians.
Recycling Centres are open but drivers must take care on the approach roads.

Public Transport

For information on the wider public transport network, bus passengers can call Traveline on 0871 200 2233.

Other services

Community Meals

Although road conditions are treacherous for our Community Meals Service we intend to provide a full service for our customers on Thursday. The Council is encouraging carers or neighbours to those people who receive a community meal to see whether that person needs a meal, and to help them if possible.
Any concerns regarding meal deliveries call 01225 394350.

Adult Services

If you have a vulnerable neighbour, please try and check their well-being during the cold weather.
All Day Centres were closed on Wednesday. More information will be issued Thursday tomorrow morning.
Agencies commissioned by the Council to provide Home Care services will advise clients or relatives of any problems with services. Telephone numbers for clients/ carers/ families can be found on
Useful vulnerable adult telephone numbers: Community and Health Access Team at Lewis House, Bath: 01225 396000. Emergency Duty Team: 01454 615165.

Leisure Services

Aquaterra Leisure - the Council’s leisure centre contractor - are opening all sites as usual, however some classes and courses may still be impacted and suggest people contact their local leisure centre before setting out on their journey.
  • Bath Sports and Leisure Centre - 01225 486905
  • Keynsham Leisure Centre - 01225 395164
  • South Wansdyke Sports Centre - 01761 415522
  • Culverhay Sports Centre - 01225 480882
Council Golf Courses will be closed until further notice, although work is taking place to ensure that once the thaw is complete the sites will be operational as soon as possible.
Chew Valley Sports Centre remains open.

Heritage Services

All Council attractions are due to open on Thursday.


All libraries are due to open their normal hours.
No Mobile Library service ran on Wednesday. More information about Thursday will be issued in the morning. For more information on Mobile Library services and routes go to

Democratic Services

The Council will to try to maintain its calendar of public meetings, but people are advised to check the website for more details.