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VIDEO: Workers show true grit in early morning road clearing
GRITTING started early in Bournemouth yesterday with four drivers and their navigators taking to the road at 4.30am.
Paul Fox, who normally works on the borough’s roads, was among council workers who received an early morning call. His first run, which took around three hours, encompassed the town centre and Westbourne.
He said: “There were a couple of inches of snow and it looked like a winter wonderland but there were also blizzards. I’ve been gritting for 12 years and I’ve seen worse conditions.”
Later, as Paul, 53, from Muscliff, carefully manoeuvred his five tonne gritting truck out of the council’s Southcote Road depot the flurries had stopped and rain arrived, turning the snow to sludge.
He said: “The temperatures have risen but if they plunge later I’ll probably be back in tonight. Black ice is the biggest danger; I’ve come across it in a gritting truck and ended up spinning around a roundabout. Thankfully, no other drivers were around.
“Generally, motorists are considerate but you get a few impatient ones who just want to get to work. At the end of the day we are just doing our job and trying to keep the roads safe.”
Gritting trucks can reach speeds of up to 30mph with a computer in the cab allowing drivers to measure the amount of salt they deposit and target black spots needing to be blasted.
The borough’s strategic operations manager Larry Austin said: “With the help of the Met Office we will monitor the weather conditions during the day.
“We have four gritting lorries, covering four routes and half of our road network. Around 23 tonnes of grit were deposited during the early morning run.
“We will have a full stand-by team of around 30 staff; refuse and recycling collections have been suspended but, if weather conditions allow, they will resume today.”
He added: “The Safecote salt we use sticks to the road surface.
“We are well stocked up to cope with the worst case scenario and have contingency plans with neighbouring councils, in the unlikely event that stocks should run out.”
NHS Bournemouth and Poole is urging readers to:
* Grit and clear paths, if your are fit and capable
* Report particularly dangerous ice on paths to the council
* Wrap up well, if you have to go out