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Winter plans to keep people safe in place
10:40am Monday 29th October 2012 in Cornwall
With the winter fast approaching, plans are in place to help keep people in Cornwall safe.
Over the past few weeks staff from CORMAC Solutions Ltd and the Council’s highways, environment, emergency management, adult care and support and children’s services have been meeting with representatives from health, police, Environment Agency, Highways Agency, Met Office, utility companies and the voluntary sector to draw up plans to deal with severe weather conditions such as ice and snow and flooding, and other emergency situations.
The council’s highways team are making final preparations to the authority’s winter service plan and are reminding members of the public to make sure that they drive according to the road and weather conditions.
The Council is responsible for over 7,520 kilometres (4,530 miles) of roads – one of the largest road networks in the country - ranging from principal roads to narrow country lanes.
Last year the authority spent £771,000 keeping Cornwall’s roads safe during the winter with the fleet of gritting lorries using 3,620 tonnes of salt on over 36,000 km (22,500 miles) of the road network on the 32 occasions gritting took place.
This compares with a yearly average of 9,900 tonnes of salt use and an average 68,600 km (42,900 miles) coverage in previous years.
The authority carries out precautionary salting on 25 routes covering around 1,400 km ( 875 miles) of the road network, including the most heavily trafficked A and B roads in Cornwall which, between them, are responsible for around 85 per cent of traffic movements.
CORMAC Solutions Ltd also treat the roads to key sites such as hospitals, minor injury units, ambulance and fire stations, bus stations and secondary schools.
This year, following consultation with key partners, CORMAC will also be treating the routes to, and the circulatory system within Liskeard Railway Station, St Austell railway and Bus Station, St Ives Malakof bus station and Penzance Bus Station.
It will also be treating the roads to a further 10 health or community centres – Callington, Camborne, Falmouth, Gunnislake, Helston, Mullion, Saltash, St Keverne, Tintagel and Truro – adding a further 1,140 metres to the salting network.
The A30 from the boundary with Devon to Penzance and the A38, which are the main trunk roads through Cornwall, are the responsibility of the Highways Agency which manages its own winter service.
The salt used by the Council is provided from salt mines in Northern Ireland.
“We usually aim to carry out salting before freezing occurs but Cornwall’s climate means that we are often faced with the problem of near freezing temperatures combined with showers” said Jeremy Edwards, the Council’s highway network manager.
“If the salt is washed off roads which have been treated by subsequent rain, sleet or hail showers, the road surfaces are likely to freeze. We can never guarantee that roads will be free of ice and would urge all drivers to ensure that they drive according to the existing road and weather conditions. “
The Council has produced a winter driving leaflet containing advice and information on how to drive safely in adverse weather conditions which is available on a special “snow pack” section on the Council’s website- www.cornwall.gov.uk.
The snow pack area also contains details of the council’s winter maintenance policy and procedures, including details of which roads are treated, advice on how to stay warm during the cold weather, together with a copy of the Government’s national Snow Code which gives advice to members of the public on clearing roads and pavements in their local communities.
The Council has also produced a “flood pack” providing information and advice on how to cope with flooding which is available on the website- www.cornwall.gov.uk.