Sunday, 10 January 2010

Weather update (3)

This is from the council
The Met Office predicts that temperatures will remain very cold, with no significant thaw expected. Road conditions are expected to remain very icy. Further snow fall is forecast to continue during Sunday and throughout the week. As a result, road and pavement conditions will remain extremely hazardous.  The long-term weather forecast indicates the extremely cold weather is likely to continue for some considerable time and this will continue to adversely impact on Council services.  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  Bath & North East Somerset Council received a salt delivery on Friday. Because of the long-term weather forecast it is considered prudent to continue to ration the available supplies for priority routes. There is a national shortage of salt and it is understood that the supply chain can only meet one fifth of the national demand.  The salt delivery allowed Council crews to fill grit bins on Thursday and Friday in response to customer reports to Council Connect. The Council does rely 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. Because of the weekend weather the Council is concentrating its efforts on gritting so there was a very limited grit bin refilling service on Saturday and there will be on Sunday.  The Council gritting fleet will treat prioritised routes later on Sunday, and prepare snow ploughs if required. All major routes remain open. An emergency gritting vehicle will be available around the clock to tackle any specific problems on the main network.  Key transport routes and roads to key facilities like hospitals have been gritted and are passable with care. Because the Council must focus its resources on these priority routes, 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.  In the Lansdown, Bannerdown and Weston areas there was light snow on Saturday night/ Sunday morning and a minor problem with snow being blown in to drifts. Crews have attended and we do not anticipate any closures. Further snow may cause more localised drifting.  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 will be redeployed onto snow clearing if required to keep shopping areas and car parks clear once priority routes have been attended to. However, there will be very limited salting in these areas until the further supplies of salt can be guaranteed.  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  It is the intention to open or partly open schools on Monday. Latest information on individual schools was published at 3pm on Sunday at www.bathnes.gov.uk/schoolclosures  This will be updated again at 6.45am on Monday morning. Parents/ guardians can also listen to their local radio station for information.  If a school is open, parents/ guardians should assume that Council-run transport to and from the school will attempt to run.  Waste and Recycling  All Council waste and recycling collection services were cancelled on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. 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.  Households that didn’t have their waste collected on these days should not leave their waste out for collection. The Council is not in a position to collect waste until a household’s next scheduled collection day if conditions allow.  Households should not put their waste out for collection on Monday. Further advice on collection arrangements will be issued Monday after an assessment of the weather conditions.  At present the Council does not anticipate conducting a collection on Monday.  Recycling Centres were open during the weekend. They will be open Monday, weather permitting.  Public Transport  For information on the wider public transport network, bus passengers can call Traveline on 0871 200 2233.  Other Services  Adult Services  If you have a vulnerable neighbour, please try and check their well-being during the cold weather.  We hope to open Day Centres on Monday 11th January depending on the availability of transport to and from the sites.  For community meals, the Council has delivered a frozen meal for Monday for those customers who are able to heat it, and frozen meals for the weekend for those customers who have these every week. Although we are delivering frozen meals as a contingency we will still attempt to deliver hot meals on weekdays.  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.  Agencies commissioned by the Council to provide Home Care services have contingency plans in place. Clients or relatives are being contacted, but should call the relevant agency for more information if required. These telephone numbers can be found on www.bathnes.gov.uk/homecareproviders  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 planning to open sites as usual, however some classes and courses may be cancelled 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 and Chew Valley Leisure Centre remains closed.  Libraries  There is no Mobile Library service.  More information about Monday library opening arrangements will be released Monday morning.Council Offices 
All Council offices at Bath (Guildhall, Trimbridge House), Keynsham, and Midsomer Norton Hollies are due to open as usual Monday morning. 

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