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Islington Council's gritting teams tackle first cold snap as winter plan springs into action

Gritters went out onto Islington’s roads for the first time this season as road temperatures fell below freezing over the weekend, and are on stand-by as needed to ensure the borough keeps moving.

Islington Council’s winter service plan ensures the borough can keep moving even in icy conditions.

More than two dozen vehicles are ready to go at short notice, while more than 300 staff – including street sweepers who become gritters in snowy weather – will clear snow and spread grit.

The council receives three weather updates each day from the Met Office. When freezing weather is forecast, priority routes – including those near hospitals, fire and ambulance stations, schools, and on main roads – will be gritted to ensure as many vital routes stay open as possible.

More than 300 pavement grit bins have also been refilled as part of the winter service plan preparations, so there is plenty of supply across the borough.

If the winter is severe, the borough can call on a stockpile of 600 tonnes of grit and salt, with plans for regular resupply, and can draw on London-wide reserves of 27,000 extra tonnes of salt, with mutual aid arrangements between boroughs.

Cllr Claudia Webbe, Islington Council’s executive member for environment and transport said: “Despite the mild weather we’ve had so far, we made sure we had plans in place well in advance to deal with icy conditions and snow, whenever it arrives.

“It is essential to keep Islington moving whatever the weather throws at us, and we have taken all practical and sensible measures so our pavements and roads remain safe and open.

“While helping ensure people can get to work and school as easily as possible, we also want to ensure that no-one feels isolated.

"If you have vulnerable relatives or neighbours, please check if there’s anything you can do to help them as the weather gets colder.

"We have more than 300 grit bins near you that can be used, if you need to clear the pavement.”

For advice on clearing ice and snow, and for more on the winter road treatment programmes, see www.islington.gov.uk/gritting. Follow @IslingtonBC on Twitter for regular gritting updates.