Teams working round the clock to tackle "the beast"

Staff are working round the clock to keep the county moving, as the “beast from the east” continues to bite.


Wintry weather, including freezing temperatures and heavy snow showers, are forecast for the coming days, and teams have been working day and night maintaining essential services and keeping roads clear.

Winter Services teams have suspended normal non essential works to focus 24 hours on the current weather issues. In the past day gritters and snowploughs have been out across the county in difficult conditions, covering almost 2,800 miles.


Farmers have also been out overnight in more rural areas supporting the gritting operation while local teams continue to work clearing main town centre footpaths, even using grasscutters with plough attachments.

The council has over 100 staff involved in winter services, with a large stockpile of salt across the county. It is currently receiving an additional 9,500 tonnes of salt for the 28 multi-purpose gritters which cover 3,000 miles of county road.


The authority’s Short Term Support Service staff have access to 4X4 cars to use in snowy conditions to enable them to get to their patients who live in harder to reach rural areas.

Social care staff have also been out making home visits to elderly and vulnerable service users and contacting those who need extra support to check they are okay.

Today (Tuesday), seven schools were closed due to the weather and a number of school bus services were affected.


A number of bin collections couldn’t be made, particularly in the west of the county, while further disruptions are possible as the week continues. Residents are urged to keep an eye on the council’s alerts system via the website or social media for details on collections.

Councillor Glen Sanderson, Cabinet Member for Environment and Local Services, said: “Our teams have been working day and night to ensure the county remains open for business.

“The efforts of staff so far this week to keep roads and key footpaths clear and essential services running wherever possible are to be congratulated, and my thanks go to them all.


“The fact just a handful of schools have closed is testament to the hard work of everyone.

“However due to continual snowfall it’s important people understand we are having to prioritise the primary and secondary routes in terms of gritting and snow clearance and things are expected to get worse as the week progresses, especially on the untreated roads.


“This means snow may continue to accumulate which could create some local transport difficulties, as well disruption to travel and potentially other services such as bin collections.

“We’re also working to provide extra support for the elderly and vulnerable in our communities - as thousands of people rely on home visits each week.

“As with all weather forecasts it is not entirely possible to know where any problems could occur but we remain ready for the wintry weather to come.”

The public can keep up to date on the winter weather via the council’s social media channels:

Twitter: @northumberlands
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