Gloucestershire agencies working together to combat snow disruption
Gloucestershire Local Resilience Forum continues to work closely to keep the county moving as the impact of this morning's heavy snow becomes clearer.
The forum, which coordinates agencies including emergency services, local authorities, health services and the Environment Agency, has been in close communication throughout the recent period of bad weather - sharing resources where necessary.
And with the increased pressure on the county's road network, Gloucestershire Highways and the Highways Agency have led the way in coordinating the local response, keeping all major roads and many minor roads treated for the safety of residents.
A number of agencies have been in a position to offer 4x4 transport to travel through the snow - with Great Western Ambulance Service and local hospitals benefiting from Fire and Rescue and Environment Agency vehicles.
Gloucestershire Highways teams are out treating key routes this afternoon and anticipate further gritting runs this evening following rush hour.
The latest Met Office forecast predicts an easing of the snowfall seen this morning throughout the weekend, but continued low temperatures are expected to lead to impacted snow on the highways across the county.
With brisk winds continuing, drifting snow is still likely, especially on higher ground, which may mean drivers experience much deeper snow than they might have anticipated.
Police have identified the following roads as hazardous, and motorists are urged to avoid them if at all possible:
• A419 Cowcombe Hill
• A419 Little Witcombe (Birdlip)
• A48 Alvington • A435 Cirencester to Cheltenham
• A435 Charlton Kings to Seven Springs
• Unclassified Road - Toadsmoor Hill, Brimscombe
• Unclassified Road - Nailsworth to Minchinhampton
• Parliament Street, Stroud
• A4151 Littledean, Cinderford
• A429 Fossebridge
• A429 Stow Hill
• A436 Birdlip to Seven Springs
• A417 Crickley Hill
• A4173 Brookthorpe/Edge/Stroud
• A46 Stroud/Painswick/Brockworth
• B4362 Cleeve Hill
However, with the current conditions, Gloucestershire Highways would advise that any high level routes across the county and any routes with steeper inclines will be hazardous for some time and should only be attempted with extreme care. Travel advice for Gloucestershire is only to make journeys if they are absolutely necessary.
County council and district council services are open for business as usual. However, residents are reminded that some services in the county will be carried out by a reduced number of staff.
More than 300 schools in the county are closed because of the severe weather. For the latest information, visit www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/closedschools Oak Quarry and Fosse Cross household recycling centres are also closed due to the weather.
With the chance of ice on county pavements as well as roads, residents, particularly the vulnerable, are urged to take extra care when travelling and encouraged to stay at home if possible.
Gloucestershire's Chief Fire Officer and chair of the LRF, Jon Hall, said: "The county's agencies have, once again, shown a coordinated and professional approach to this latest period of bad weather and worked closely together to ensure all services respond in the most effective way possible.
"I am grateful for all the hard work that has been done in the county to ensure residents are kept safe and informed of the work we are all doing to help them carry on with their lives as best they can."
Tips on driving in icy conditions can be found at www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/winter Traffic information can also be found on the Highways Agency website here: http://www.highways.gov.uk/traffic-information/