London Councils show true grit in face of cold weather

32_Gritters at Croydon Council FM Conway.jpg

PHOTO: Croydon Council / FM Conway

LONDON COUNCILS are ready to grit London’s roads if (when?) icy weather hits the capital. They are keeping tuned to the weather forecast, while all their vehicles are ready to hit – sorry, “grit” – the streets and pavements.

All the Councils in London work together as an organisation named “London Councils”. They have a Transport and Environment Committee, the Chair of which is Hackney Mayor Philip Glanville. He reassured Londoners that the capital’s Councils are ready for whatever winter throws at us – but he also gave us some tips on how to be safe and look out for our neighbours. Here is his full statement.

“We face a lot of uncertainty as 2021 draws to a close, but when it comes to cold weather London boroughs are prepared for the winter season. Boroughs have enough salt available at key locations across the capital for quick and easy access to deal with the challenge of frozen roads and pavements.

“Boroughs understand how important it is to maintain road safety, especially at this time of year.  As winter sets in, boroughs are working flat out to ensure their most important routes are free of frost and ice and safe for road users across the capital. Highway teams continue to monitor high-tech weather forecasts, ready to treat the roads and pavements with salt as soon as conditions demand it. Councils are also committed to keeping people up to date about forecasts, road conditions and salting activity so residents can make appropriate decisions on whether to travel. 

“It is also vital for all of us to be more aware when using roads during the darker, winter months. As there are fewer hours of daylight and greater risk of icier roads, road users should make sure to look out for pedestrians as well as other fellow road users such as cyclists and moped riders and be as safe as possible by observing the speed limit.

“We are also asking that Londoners be extra vigilant throughout the colder months to make sure their neighbours are okay. If you notice milk bottles left outside, newspapers stuck in the letterbox or curtains drawn all day, or any other activity that is out of the ordinary, it could be a sign that someone in your community needs help.”

The experience of having milk and newspapers delivered is not widely shared in our more urban areas, and leaving curtains drawn is often done to preserve heat. However, Glanville’s points on looking out for neighbours are well intentioned: however, you do it, please check everyone is OK!

What East Londoners will be waiting to see is whether it is just the major roads and pavements which are gritted – or whether side roads and their pavements will get a look in this year, as is usually the case. With controversial Executive Mayor John Biggs doing his best to clear local traffic from the roads in his “Low Traffic Neighbourhoods”, Tower Hamlets residents are hoping that the gritter lorries will be allowed into residential areas to do their work.

●To catch up with the news in East London, go to:
East London News

●Watch East London’s weekly news magazine programme,
live at 10pm every Tuesday and on demand all week:
The Tuesday Show