Residents urged to take care as we gear up for snow

8 December 2017

Derbyshire residents are being urged to prepare for heavy snow which is forecast to fall across the county on Sunday, 10 December 2017.

The Met Office has reported that while some sleet and snow showers are expected in parts of the county on Saturday afternoon and evening, widespread heavy snow is expected to arrive during Sunday morning. Around 10cm is expected although in some parts of the county it could be as much as 15 to 20cm.

We're gearing up for the expected snowfall following the Met Office Amber Warning and has a number of measures in place to keep the county moving and ensure older and vulnerable residents are cared for and safe.

Our fleet of 36 gritters, which can all be fitted with snow ploughs when needed, are ready to work around the clock from six depots around the county and we have a stockpile of 27,000 tonnes of salt (generally referred to as grit).

Around half of the 3,500 miles of road that we're responsible for are on gritting routes, and major roads, known as primary routes, will be gritted first and where necessary ploughed, followed by secondary routes which include bus routes in residential areas and well-used main roads through housing estates and villages.

The gritting teams will be backed by a team of farmers and other contractors who are on standby to help clear roads where needed and a number of volunteer snow wardens will also be out helping to keep pavements and public spaces clear and safe.

Highways officers have warned road users not to assume that roads have been gritted when driving and to check our website for the latest updates.

Our frontline care staff are also making plans to ensure they can reach older and vulnerable people in the community, and extra staff have been drafted in to work on Sunday to help organise services.

We're preparing to:

  • use 4x4 vehicles to help health and social care staff reach residents in their homes
  • prioritise visits to ensure the most vulnerable receive the care they need
  • help other agencies, including those in the independent sector, reach their clients.

We're urging residents to be prepared and take some simple steps to make sure they stay safe and well during the cold snap and snowfall. These include:

  • ensuring you have enough medication you may rely on and other supplies, for example food and baby milk
  • keeping your home warm − your main living room should be between around 18 to 21C (65 to 70F) and the rest of your house at a minimum of 16C
  • being a good neighbour and checking on older neighbours and relatives.

Our Cabinet Member for Highways, Transport and Infrastructure Councillor Simon Spencer said:

"Latest forecasts suggest widespread snowfall across Derbyshire with at least 10cm or more on Sunday.

"Our gritting teams work extremely hard day and night to keep roads clear and make sure the county is safe and moving.

"It's not realistic to be able to grit every single road so we target our gritting on the roads that benefit the greatest number of people and the most important services.

"If the weather is as predicted on Sunday, we'd urge motorists not to make journeys unless absolutely necessary and use public transport where possible − but check services are running before you leave home.

"We'd also ask people to keep an eye on elderly and vulnerable neighbours.

"We'll be monitoring conditions closely and we're on standby to help co-ordinate emergency help, if conditions are severe, such as helping health and social care workers to keep services running where necessary, transporting heating fuel to elderly and vulnerable residents, taking emergency medication to residents in 4x4s and helping residents get to emergency medical and hospital appointments."

View our latest snow updates (opens in a new window), which includes:

  • links to the latest weather updates
  • what's happening on the roads and gritting routes
  • whether a particular road has been gritted and when
  • where their nearest grit bin is
  • tips on winter driving.