Westminster is ready for winter

Date: 
Wed, 14/12/2016

As the city prepares for Christmas and New Year, Westminster is ready for any cold weather snaps with its dedicated winter plan in effect.

Cold weather could mean ice, frost and snow which can pose difficulties for pedestrians and motorists. Westminster has a dedicated team ready to respond to any problems on our roads. They have at their disposal:

  • 1,500 tonnes of salt ready to be used
  • over 35 tonnes of bagged white salt, brown salt and specialist corrosion-inhibiting de-icer (for schools, estates, footbridges and council properties)
  • 8 carriageway gritters that can carry up to 8 tonnes of salt
  • 8 smaller gritters for pavements
  • 200 grit bins strategically placed and filled

Cllr Melvyn Caplan, Cabinet Member for City Management, said: “We’re used to the British weather throwing up all sorts of problems unexpectedly, but winter is a time when the hard work and dedication of our staff and contractors to keeping our city running safely ensures Westminster remains open for business as usual. Now let’s hope it’ll be a white Christmas!”

The council’s ‘Winter Service Plan’ lays out the strategy for dealing with any problems, and provides access to weather forecasts from the Met Office and a live forecaster for help in ensuring the borough’s surfaces are prepared.

Westminster pioneered the practice of responding to definite warnings of snow by ‘pre-treating’ lower-priority areas before the bad weather hits, making sure no road is left unsalted – a precautionary measure that other councils are now beginning to adopt.

When snow falls, the council’s gritting vehicles target bus routes, crossing points and areas outside stations, hospitals, schools, and nursing homes as a matter of priority. At peak gritting times, the operation can involve more than 200 staff.

It takes between 12 to 15 hours to grit Westminster’s entire road network.


Last updated: 12 January 2017
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