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Check on vulnerable and plan your travel during big freeze

Author: 
John Freeman

Lancashire County Council is asking people to check on vulnerable members of their community as the county prepares to deal with a spell of freezing temperatures and severe weather.

The Met Office has issued a yellow weather warning of snow for the county for Tuesday and Wednesday, with the possibility of more severe weather to follow later in the week.

Low temperatures are expected throughout the week, with Public Health England advising that homes should be heated to at least 18C to ensure people don't become ill due to the cold.

The county council is gearing up to ensure social care support is delivered to those who need it, whatever the weather, and gritting teams are ready to keep traffic moving on the main routes.

County Councillor Shaun Turner, cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: "We're expecting a bitterly cold week ahead, and it's important that people do what they need to do to stay warm and healthy.

"Advice from Public Health England is to ensure your home is heated to at least 18C, wear several thin layers rather than one thick one, move about your home, and eat warm food.

"We'll be continuing to visit vulnerable people who already receive our support, but we're asking everyone who is aware of a vulnerable friend, neighbour or family member to check that they're okay and whether they need anything, particularly if we they don't want to venture out during severe weather."

How to get help for people sleeping rough

Councillor Andrew  Warriner said: If you’re concerned about someone sleeping rough, the best thing you can do is to report what you have seen to our specialist team of staff so that they can bring them in out of the cold and connect them to other local services which can get them back on their feet.“

During extreme weather conditions you can call the council's homeless team direct during normal office working hours (9am-5pm) on 01524 582257.  In the evenings and weekends you can call Lancaster City Council’s out of hours service tel. 01524 67099.

Alternatively you can contact StreetLink by telephoning the 24/7 StreetLink phone line 0300 500 0914 or report your concerns using the StreetLink website www.streetlink.org.uk .  The Street Link scheme is a service that enables the public to alert local authorities in England about rough sleepers in their area.

Gritting

With snow forecast from the early hours of Tuesday, the county council's gritting crews will be treating the roads this evening ahead of any weather fronts arriving.

County Councillor Keith Iddon, cabinet member for highways and transport, added: "Our gritting crews have already been treating the roads in recent days to deal with the cold and frosty weather, and we're well prepared for more severe conditions forecast over the coming week.

"The Met Office is predicting snow showers to affect Lancashire from early on Tuesday and into Wednesday, with ongoing freezing temperatures.

"Lancashire is currently not included in the amber weather warning for heavier snow predicted to cause disruption in parts of the UK later this week, however we could receive some heavy snow showers on Wednesday, and will be carefully monitoring the forecast.

"Our first priority always has to be to keep traffic moving on the main routes when severe weather hits, and I'd ask people to be cautious as roads can be icy even after they've been gritted. Please also be particularly careful on untreated roads and pavements, and if conditions are particularly bad, consider whether your journey is essential.

"If you do need to travel, allow extra time for your journey, check your vehicle before setting out, and take extra warm clothing and a drink in case you do encounter any problems."

Lancashire County Council has a fleet of 45 frontline gritters, which can treat the 1,800 miles of the county council's priority road network within around four hours, but may take longer in severe conditions.

• For more information about travelling this winter, visit www.lancashire.gov.uk/winter, follow the county council on Twitter @LancashireCC or www.facebook.com/lancashirecc for news and updates.

 

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