Press Release

How the Council’s workforce responded to the first really icy blasts of winter

08 February 2019

Neath Port Talbot Council spread more than 1,200 tonnes of rock salt during the recent cold snap which in other parts of the country led to flight delays, hundreds of schools being shut and some roads being blocked or closed for safety reasons.

How the Council’s workforce responded to the first really icy blasts of winter

On February 1st, more than 500 schools were shut in Wales and a number of roads, including the Bwlch Mountain Road, were closed.

Over the two week period from January 21st to 3rd February 2019 the authority:

• Used its gritting fleet to undertake more than 100 gritting runs across the four precautionary salting routes set out in the Winter Service Operational Plan.
• Spread more than 1,200 tonnes of rock salt.
• Undertook additional gritting operations on roads and footpaths that did not form part of the precautionary salting network, once the precautionary salting network was clear of any hazards.
• Liaised with Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council and Bridgend County Borough Council on the safe closure and opening of the Bwlch Mountain Road due to snowfall.
• Proactively re-filled salt bins as well as when requested to do so by the public.
• Continuously monitored the weather forecast and planned operations accordingly.

Cllr Ted Latham, Neath Port Talbot Council’s Cabinet Member for Streetscene and Engineering, said: “I want to thank our crews who, particularly in our upland areas, were out in extremely cold weather and difficult conditions making our roads safer.”
Neath Port Talbot Council prepares for each upcoming winter period in the summer.
This includes:
• Recruiting and training winter operatives.
• Re-stocking salt stocks.
• Re-stocking grit bins.
• Reviewing issues from the previous winter period.
• Producing an on-call rota.
In order to monitor and forecast conditions as well as daily advice in the winter from private forecasters, the Council has five scientific weather stations. These consist of two fixed outstations at Abernant and Banwen, and three remote sensor units with supporting deep and surface temperature probes, based at Melin Court, the Afan Valley and Kenfig Industrial Estate.  These weather stations provide live local weather information to the authority’s forecaster.”

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