Freezing temperatures and snow continue to grip the city and highways teams are working around-the-clock keep the priority routes around Birmingham moving as another band of significant snow is expected to hit the region this afternoon (Friday 2nd March).
Some of the most challenging conditions have hit the area in the last 24 hours, with snow settling on top of salt, and unusually low temperatures reducing the efficiency of salt, which becomes less effective in temperatures below -6C
Salting of 750 miles, just over half, of Birmingham’s roads has taken place at least once a day, every day, for the last 10 days of this current cold snap. Already, over 1000 tonnes of salt have been spread on the priority carriageway routes and gritting teams are now on continuous operations.
Motorists are advised that driving conditions are likely to be hazardous in places, particularly on side-roads, as the focus of winter services is to keep the main routes used by emergency services and public transport running.
Extra resources from across other Birmingham City Council departments, including waste management crews, are in place to help the efforts and the 1260 grit bins around the city are being restocked with salt for the public to use on the roads and footways.
Eddie Fellows, Highways Network Director for Amey, the company responsible for Highways Winter Maintenance in the city, said: “We are working closely with our partners Birmingham City Council and other agencies across the city to ensure all possible measures are in place to help keep the city’s road network moving. Extra gritting crews were drafted in and ploughs were fitted to gritters earlier in the week in anticipation of snowfall.
“Prolonged spells of snowfall can create difficult driving conditions, even after salting treatments have been carried out, as the traffic movement is required to help work salt into lying snow. Our advice to motorists is to only travel if essential and drive with added caution if the journey is unavoidable.”
DID YOU KNOW? Salt is used to prevent ice forming by lowering the freezing temperature of water. At temperatures below -6C, this becomes less effective.
For more information on Birmingham highways in winter, including maps of gritting routes, visit Birmingham city council’s website: www.birmingham.gov.uk/gritting