As we all struggle to get around today here is an update from the Council Leader, Jason Stacey, on where we are at with grit:
I thought it might be helpful to let you know about the issue of grit, where the Council grits, etc during this cold spell.
The Council will grit all primary and secondary roads – a primary road would be for example the Uxbridge Road or Mandeville Road and a secondary road something like Greenford Avenue or Castlebar Hill. The primary and secondary roads equate to a network of around 250 kms of road. It is not unusual for gritters to need to cover this distance twice during a night – especially when there has been snowfall. To put this into some sort of context – if our gritters are required to do two rounds during a night this comes to 500 kms of road being gritted – about the same distance from the Town Hall to the Eiffel Tower in Paris!
In addition to the gritting process, footpaths in major footfall areas will be gritted – so for example all of our town centres, areas around major transport hubs, shopping parades, etc. To achieve this we effectively suspend ‘zone 1’ cleansing operations and these crews are directed on to footpath gritting. Yesterday there were 29 teams out in the borough.
Our priority for the time being has to be to work on these priority areas. As you will be aware, this is not a simple do it once job and then it is done, but rather we have to keep continually doing them to ensure the priority areas keep clear.
In terms of grit levels, the Council currently has around 2,000 tonnes of the stuff. The Council has actually been gritting pretty regularly since before Christmas when stocks were at 3,000 tonnes and each gritting round uses around 100 tonnes. We therefore consider our levels at present to be pretty sound though it is quite high compared to many other London boroughs.