Cold Weather - London Prepares

Salt stocks are more than doubled across the Capital

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In Ealing

Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, cabinet member for transport and the environment said: "This year we now have just under 4,300 tonnes of grit in stock.

“This is compared with last year where we had just over 3,200 tonnes of grit in stock prior to the winter maintenance programme.

"Last year, which was one of the worst winters in 40 years, we had more than adequate stock.'', and

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Plans to keep London moving during the winter have been unveiled today. They include a doubling of salt stocks and measures to keep a key network of roads open throughout even the most severe weather.

Following the cold snap in February 2010, the Mayor of London, TfL, London Councils and the boroughs have been working together with the emergency services and Network Rail to review and improve the Capital’s cold weather plans.

To ensure London is as prepared as possible for the winter season, TfL and the boroughs have agreed a network of essential routes that together they will work to keep open. These include roads and footpaths around bus garages and stations, hospitals with accident and emergency departments, railway stations and police, fire and ambulance stations across London.

This year, TfL has doubled its road salt stocks from 9,000 to 18,000 tonnes, which it will use to treat the TfL Road Network; the main arterial roads in the Capital. Salt has also been sourced by London Underground, London Overground, London Buses, London Tramlink and the DLR for use on platforms and outside stations.

Across London, the amount of salt being stored by the 33 London local authorities is also being increased to 72,000 tonnes. This will bring London’s operational stock levels to 90,000 tonnes, almost a 60 per cent increase compared to the 57,000 tonnes held at the start of December 2009.

As well as increasing its operational salt stock, TfL has also created a 27,000 tonne strategic salt reserve. In the event of another severe winter, this reserve is now available to supplement the stocks held by all highway authorities across London.

Kulveer Ranger, the Mayors Transport Advisor, said: “These salt mountains clearly illustrate our preparations for the cold weather this winter. We have carefully looked at how we dealt with last year's cold snap and have improved this year's plans to make sure we are well placed to be able to keep Londoners safely on the move.”

London’s Transport Commissioner, Peter Hendy, said: "Transport for London has well developed plans to deal with cold weather, which we will put into action as necessary, working closely with our partners in the London boroughs, the emergency services and Network Rail.

“Our fleet of 38 gritters and 10 gritting quad bikes will be operating across the Transport for London Road Network, ensuring that the Capital’s key roads, as well as access roads to bus garages, are gritted. All other TfL services are also preparing for any cold weather that comes our way to keep London moving throughout the winter months.”

London Councils’ Services Corporate Director, Nick Lester, said: “London boroughs are working to ensure that the Capital is able to keep moving as smoothly as possible during any bout of severe weather this winter. Throughout the year, boroughs and their partners have been working on their plans to ensure the main and strategic routes across the Capital are kept open.

“A host of boroughs have also introduced innovative schemes, including giving out free shovels and grit, in an effort to work with their local communities to keep their roads and driveways clear of snow and ice."

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25 November 2010