Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Sever Weather update 7am 21st December

Weather Forecast

Today, it is forecast for some light sleet or snow flurries in the afternoon with a more persistent spell of sleet or snow possible overnight and during Wednesday morning, with accumulations 2-5cm possible. Throughout the rest of Wednesday, some light snow showers are expected at times, but overall there will be a good deal of dry weather. It will remain cold.

Highways and Car Parks

Gritting crews gritted all the 260 miles of our priority route network with another salting run during the night.  All the main roads are  running normally.

However conditions on side roads, minor roads and untreated surfaces are particularly icy and difficult, especially as road temperatures fell to -2c during the night.  We would urge all pedestrians and drivers to exercise due care in these conditions. Drivers should watch out for ice, keep to the main roads and avoid side roads if at all possible.

All the car parks and park and ride sites will be treated as usual and are anticipated to remain open. Car parks and key footways in Keynsham and Midsomer Norton will also be attended to. 

It is hoped that the Park and Ride buses will be operating today. However the final decision will be taken by the bus operators First Bus.

Information on other bus services will be posted on this website today. 

Salt stocks

The Council has planned well in advance for the possibility of severe weather conditions. We have a 1,400 ton salt capacity at Clutton Depot and improved storage facilities at Braysdown. Our capacity is at an all time high this winter in order to salt 260 miles of priority routes across the district. This represents 38% of the total highways network – well above the national average of 30%. For us to complete this work, salt stocks and manpower must be prioritised.

The Council maintains 388 grit bins at present. Refilling bins during periods of adverse or severe weather/ snowfall is labour intensive and the salt stored in these is often spread too heavily, used on private drives, or sometimes stolen. We will continue to meet reasonable requests to refill grit bins, although this ability depends upon the demands on resources of keeping the priority route road network gritted. 

Although the Council has ordered more salt to replenish stocks following the adverse weather experienced a few weeks ago, there is very high national demand for salt because of the problems experienced in the north and the south east already this winter. Should conditions become increasingly severe with even more ice and snow then the Council will need to consider taking measures to conserve salt supplies.

The Council is unable to supply salt to individual residents and in order to ensure  public safety residents should not attempt to collect salt from Clutton Depot. Electronic gates prevent public access and maintain security. 

Waste Collections

Because of the severe weather conditions experienced on Monday morning all waste collections were cancelled and garden waste collections have been stood down until further notice to allow our resources to be concentrated on domestic waste. We are unlikely to be able to conduct a full round of collections on Tuesday 21st December.

Households are being asked to put their waste out on their scheduled collection day. We will attempt to collect it, subject to weather conditions. If we are unable to collect waste, households have the following options:

·         Leave waste out and we will do our best to catch-up – this should not cause an obstruction on the highway or pavement;


·         Take the waste back into storage and put it out again on the next scheduled collection day;


·         Take the waste to a collection point. These have been set-up at Odd Down Park & Ride (6.30am – 9.30pm), Newbridge Park & Ride (6.30am – 9.30pm), and Bath City FC Twerton (open all hours). These will also operate on Tuesday 21st December and will include recycling facilities from tomorrow. On Tuesday 21st December, a collection point will be established at Tescos, Midsomer Norton from 8.30am (open all hours);


·         Households may also take it to their local Recycling Centre.

In common with all local authorities nationwide, public safety is paramount when we make a decision on conducting waste collections during adverse weather conditions. When conditions are icy it is unsafe for both pedestrians and vehicles to have waste vehicles weighing up to 20 tonnes negotiating narrow residential streets and collecting waste.

In some cases, residents may have their recycling collected and residual waste not collected (or vice-versa). As well as varying conditions during the day being a factor, recycling vehicles are smaller and weigh less (around 12 tonnes compared to 20) than residual waste collection vehicles meaning they are more manoeuvrable.

Heritage Services

All the Council's Heritage buildings are anticipated to be open as normal today (Tuesday). This includes the Fashion Museum, Roman Baths, the Pump Room and the Victoria Art Gallery.

Adult Social Care

Clara Cross Rehab Unit: Tuesday Dec 21 - All clinics and exercise groups are cancelled.

Further  information will be posted on the website, when available.

Adult care services, clients, carers and relatives should be assured if there is severe weather and any resulting problems with home care services or services for adults with learning difficulties, personal contact will be made with anyone who is expecting a service. This contact will be made by their care provider and they would be kept updated throughout the day. Contingency arrangements are in place to reach clients living in difficult locations.

Other Services

Schools have broken up for Christmas. There is information about Children's Centres and Community Resource Centres on www.bathnes.gov.uk/severeweather

It is anticipated that the libraries, Council Connect, the Contact Centre and Shopmobility will be open today.  

There could be disruption to some services over the coming days and especially those susceptible to icy and snowy conditions. The Council will keep people updated through its website – www.bathnes.gov.uk - about the impact on services – any updates will also be highlighted through its Twitter Feed www.twitter.com/bathnes

For more information

1. The quickest and most direct way of bringing to our attention a problem on the roads, or any other service, is by contacting the Council via the following methods www.bathnes.gov.uk/reportit

2. The Council’s website will be updated regularly to keep residents up to date about general information: www.bathnes.gov.uk

3. All other enquiries should be made to Council Connect on 01225 394041 between 8am – 6pm weekdays (Wednesday 9.30am – 6pm);

4. Outside of these times the Council’s Out of Office Emergency number is 01225 477 477;

5.People can email on councilconnect@bathnes.gov.uk or SMS text on 07797806545. These can be contacted 24 hours a day and a response will be sent next working day. These methods should not be used for emergency communication.

Service specific telephone numbers

Enquiries about Adult care transport should call 01225 394371.

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