East End’s ‘Salt Mountain’ ready for cold snap on streets

Town Hall staff and contractors have begun gritting roads in London’s East End with the arrival of the first snow and severe wintry conditions.

A ‘mountain’ of 1,800 tonnes of industrial salt has been stockpiled at Tower Hamlets council’s Blackwall depot with a fleet of gritter lorries and their crews who have been on standby since November 1 now mobilised street-by-street to make roads and pavements safe for traffic and pedestrians during the cold snap. The local authority receives four forecasts a day from the Met Office to be ready for whatever winter conditions break out. Staff are on duty around the clock to receive the forecast and alert the relevant departments and gritting contractors when extreme cold weather is imminent. Road sweepers are laying the salt on pavements when snow falls and it is too slippery to sweep.

Priority is being given to pavements outside hospitals, health centres, doctors’ surgeries, schools, care homes, day centres for elderly and disabled, children’s centres and chemists. Also top of the list are entrances around busy public transport areas, Idea Stores and public libraries.

Tower Hamlets is responsible for all its side streets and most main roads except for truck routes such as the A13 Commercial Road and East India Dock Road and the and A12 Blackwall Tunnel Approach which are the responsibility of Transport for London.

Householders can find out which streets are being salted by calling the council on 020-7364 5004 or going online at www.towerhamlets.gov.uk.