Gritters on standby with temperatures set to drop in Burnley
Cold weather is on the way and Lancashire County Council is urging everyone to do their bit to help themselves along with any vulnerable friends and relatives.
The council is asking people to draw up a winter checklist which could include stocking up on salt to treat icy paths around the home, preparing their vehicle for cold conditions, or making sure vulnerable neighbours are warm and well.
The county council's fleet of gritters is ready to keep Lancashire moving by treating 1,800 miles of high priority roads within four hours whenever a freeze is forecast.
And highway teams have been busy restocking more than 2,600 grit bins, which are usually on roads that are not on a gritting route, or where there's a particular hazard.
County Coun. Keith Iddon, cabinet member for highways and transport, said: "We're ready for winter and do all we can to keep traffic moving on the busiest roads, which make up around a third of all roads in the county.
"At the same time, there's a limit to what the county council can do, and we don't try to hide the fact that we can't grit every road. Even if we had the resources to do this we couldn't grit them quickly enough to make a real difference.
"It's important that everyone does their bit to make sure they're prepared for any cold and icy weather we might get over the winter.
"Conditions are due to get colder over the coming days so now is the ideal time to check your car tyres, battery, lights, indicators, windscreen wipers and washers and coolant level.
"We'd also ask people to remember to drive according to the conditions in winter. Roads can remain icy even after they've been gritted, so it's vital to drive with caution when conditions are close to, or below, freezing.
"Aside from travelling, winter can be a difficult time for vulnerable people, and we'd ask people to keep an eye on friends, relatives and neighbours. Please check that vulnerable people are keeping warm, and see whether they might need help with shopping or visiting the doctor if you think they could have difficulty getting out."
The council restocks grit bins and salt heaps as often as possible, but is also urging people to help by using them responsibly. Grit bins are provided in places where ice could cause a particular risk, such as on steep bends, and the salt should only be used to make the roads and pavements safer for everyone.
County Coun. Iddon added: "Grit bins play a vital part in helping to keep our roads and pavements safe, and we're grateful for people using it to provide better traction on any icy patches.
"However I'd like to emphasise that this salt is only for use on roads and pavements, and we'd ask people to use it responsibly and sparingly to make it last as long as possible. In most places a fine coating will be effective, with only around a tablespoon being needed to cover a square metre, so a shovelful will go a long way.
"You can buy grit for your personal use from a range of DIY stores – it's important that the material in grit bins is still there when it's needed for the roads and pavements."
There's a wealth of information and advice on everything from the best way to clear snow, to winter driving tips, and the council's gritting routes at www.lancashire.gov.uk/winter.