Councils ready to tackle big freeze after winter warning
COUNCIL bosses say they are ready should winter weather arrive with a vengeance.
Swansea, Neath Port Talbot and Carmarthenshire council have already stocked up in case of a big freeze.
They have tens of thousands of tonnes of grit between them.
Over the next few days the weather could fall as low as -1C, reaching highs of 6C.
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More than 6,000 tonnes of grit has been stockpiled in Swansea to help ensure the city's roads are ready for winter cold snaps.
Forecasters were telling the council that icy conditions could be expected over the weekend, and it is urging motorists and pedestrians to take care in the conditions.
But the authority has already primed its entire fleet of winter maintenance vehicles to ensure they can be ready to grit the 500km of roads that get treated during icy conditions.
Vehicles have already been out this week and plans are in place to grit around 45 per cent of the city's highways network, which includes all the main routes in the city.
This winter up to £500,000 is being spent on maintaining emergency vehicles, manpower and salt. Around 800 grit bins were filled at the beginning of winter to give residents access to salt in streets not on gritting routes.
Carl Humphrey, head of streetscene, said: "The weather in Swansea is mostly mild but can be unpredictable on occasions. We have daily forecasts which we use to make decisions on what action we take.
"The last two or three winters have been quite severe with some extremely low temperatures. On average, we use about 3,000 tonnes of salt during each winter period."
Ahead of the winter months, Neath Port Talbot Council also stockpiled 6,500 tonnes of grit. Vehicles were prepared and staff given special winter service training.
Head of Streetcare Services Mike Roberts said: "The gritting operation covers 42 per cent of the county borough road network, which is above the Welsh average, and includes all principle roads as well as access routes to hospitals, fire stations, police stations, main bus routes and the M4."
And a spokeswoman for Carmarthenshire Council, added: "Our weather reports for Saturday show that our temperatures for road safety will not reach zero, therefore, no action will be taken at the moment.
"However, we have staff on standby 24/7 and weather updates constantly, so anything we find we need to do during the latter part of the weekend, on Sunday and Monday morning, action will then be decided."