NEW Forest roads are being kept gritted around the clock as residents awoke this morning (Monday) to an ice warning.
The county council’s highways teams have been setting out at 3am, with each salt run taking three to four hours. Once finished, the gritting lorries are reloaded ready for the next run.
HCC has also provided 135 farmers with snow ploughs to help clear routes in rural areas in the event of snow.
The Met Office issued an ice alert for today and warned of some traffic disruption as a result of the conditions.
County transport boss Cllr Rob Humby said: “Our highways teams are out 24/7 doing all they can to keep Hampshire’s roads clear and safe. As well as the main roads, the teams are also treating roads to Covid vaccination and testing centres and we have additional gangs hand salting the entrances and footway areas at these sites.
“Winter teams will also treat Hampshire’s community routes before tomorrow morning, ensuring roads to smaller schools and health centres are passable.
“We have good stocks of salt, with more deliveries scheduled, and extra highways crews ready on standby to take over from gangs who have been working through the night.”
The verderers have warned drivers to be wary of animals which wander onto the roads to lick the salt after a spate of pony and sheep deaths from collisions over Christmas and new year.
Christchurch authority the BCP Council has also insisted its services are ready to cope with severe winter conditions.
Council leader Drew Mellor, said: “Council services are well versed and fully prepared to deal with severe weather episodes. The most important priority is to ensure we are looking after the most vulnerable and we are maintaining our road networks for essential services still needing to travel. This includes helping people get safely to where they are receiving their vaccination.
“May I remind you that in light of the pandemic we should of course all be staying home anyway and only travelling for absolutely essential reasons. With snow potentially forecast, there should be very little reason for anyone to be out and about. Please take care and stay well.”