Islington’s gritters went out at midnight last night (Sunday/Monday) for the first time in 2019 as temperatures fell to below freezing.
In the cold weather, staff and gritters are on stand-by to ensure that Islington keeps moving throughout winter. Two dozen vehicles are prepared to grit highways, roads and footways and replenish salt bins. Street sweepers can swap their brooms for shovels, and more than 300 staff members are ready to be called at short notice.
The council has 500 tonnes of salt and grit ready to deal with icy weather. Residents can also help out by clearing ice and snow from pavements. For advice on clearing ice and snow, and for more on the winter road treatment programmes, see www.islington.gov.uk/gritting.
Islington Council’s executive member for environment and transport, Cllr Claudia Webbe, said: “Our gritters went into action early today and we are prepared for freezing temperatures and icy conditions this winter.
“We want to ensure that residents can carry out their day to day activities and get to school and work safely, and have taken all practical and sensible measures to do so.
“There are over 300 grit bins around the borough, and we encourage residents to make use of these to clear pavements and walkways.
“Please check if there is anything you can do to help vulnerable relatives or neighbours as the weather gets colder.”
The council receives three weather updates throughout the day from the Met Office. Priority routes, including those near hospitals, fire and ambulance stations, schools and main roads, will be gritted as soon as freezing weather is forecast.
If the winter is severe, the borough can call on a stockpile of 500 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. Follow @IslingtonBC on Twitter for regular gritting updates.