Highways Crews Work Round The Clock
4:15pm 18th January 2013
Farmers have been working alongside county council highways teams to keep traffic moving after Dorset was hit with heavy snow today (Friday).
Despite the extreme weather conditions, all major routes remain passable with care.
Dorset Highways crews have been working around the clock to plough routes and lay grit along the road network.
Agricultural vehicles have been helping to plough roads badly affected by the snow, and ‘snow blowers’ have also been employed.
Around 1,300 tonnes of grit have been put down in the last 24 hours. Gritting lorries are this afternoon tackling trouble spots and community link roads to schools, hospitals and isolated communities, before returning to the most main routes to remove excess slush before the anticipated freeze tonight.
And although no more major snowfalls are expected overnight, they will be back out laying more grit and salt in the early hours of Saturday morning.
Motorists are advised to take extra care if travelling over the weekend. They should keep their speed down and maintaining a sufficient distance from the vehicle in front to be able to brake and stop safely. It can take 10 times longer to stop in icy conditions.
A decision was taken to close all county council-run day centres yesterday, and services users were notified.
Many of the county’s schools were also shut today. However, computer problems meant the page on www.dorsetforyou.com showing whether schools were open did not function properly for a time early this morning.
An interim list of school closures was updated on the website until the issue was resolved just after 8.30am.
Dorset County Council Chief Executive Debbie Ward said:
"Our officers resolved the technical issues as quickly as was possible and we will be reviewing whether our processes can be improved as a result of this morning’s issues. We apologise to school staff and parents for any inconvenience caused.
“Monitoring will take place over the weekend to ensure the systems are working properly in readiness for Monday next week.
"I would like to thank council staff for all their hard work, particularly those in Dorset Highways. We are also grateful for the support of volunteers in communities and to local radio stations that have helped get information out to the public. Dealing with extreme weather is always a challenge, but we are doing everything possible to keep the county moving and help maintain essential services that people rely on."