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Essex: Live weather and gritting updates
11:45am Friday 18th January 2013 in Halstead News
See this video for a 'behind the scenes' look at Essex County Council Highways winter service.
Essex County Council is advising residents to continue with care following heavy snowfall over the weekend.
The fleet of 60 winter gritting lorries treated roads five times yesterday and in the early hours of this morning.
Snow ploughs were used where required, with local farmers assisting in some areas.
Gritters are out again today and decisions on further runs will be taken as required.
Staff are on call 24 hours a day and the county’s salt supplies remain at a healthy level.
Derrick Louis, cabinet member for highways, said: “Our gritters have done an excellent job of keeping the main roads throughout the county clear, despite some treacherous conditions over the weekend.
"We are constantly monitoring weather forecasts, and decisions on further gritting runs will be taken as required.
"I advise residents to continue to travel carefully, especially on untreated side roads and pavements.”
Passengers at Stansted Airport are advised to check their airline's website for latest information.
More than a dozen emergency calls following sledging accidents are believed to have been made across the region at the weekend.
The East of England Ambulance Service said many injuries were minor but included broken bones or head injuries needing hospital treatment.
A spokesman said: "People should ensure they are well wrapped up and that they wear padded clothes such as snow jackets and trousers and, if appropriate, safety gear so that even if they come off they do so without too much risk of injury.
"Even on a fast downhill run they should always feel in control while sledging.
"The fun really isn't worth it if you wind up with a painful injury in A&E."
Adam Pipe, casualty reduction manager for Essex Police, has issued the following advice to motorists.
Make sure all your car lights are working and you have no failed bulbs.
Ensure that dirt, salt and snow is cleared away from light fixtures.
Always ensure all windows are fully cleared of snow, frost and condensation before setting off on a journey - it is illegal to drive with obscured vision.
Also clear snow from the top of the car as this can fall down and obscure your windscreen while you are driving.
Keep windscreen washer fluid topped up as windscreens quickly become dirty from traffic spray and salt from the roads.
Make sure you have sufficient fuel for your journey. Keep the fuel tank topped up.
Give yourself extra time for your journey and drive at a constant speed. Accept your journey will take longer and don't take risks.
Take a mobile telephone with you and make sure it is fully charged. Carry a mobile charger in the car.
If you get stuck in the snow stay with your car, but in an emergency if you do need to leave it, park it out of the main traffic route, where it won't cause an obstruction when conditions ease.
Leave a contact number on the inside of the windscreen and return to your car at the first opportunity you have.
The East of England Ambulance Service has also issued advice.
Neil Storey, director of emergency operations, said: “Drivers should double check their vehicle is ready for ice and snow, with the correct tyres fitted and inflated and a boot stocked with de-icer and a scraper as well as a flask, water, non-perishable snacks and blankets in case of breakdown.
"Even with all these precautions please be extra careful on the roads to avoid skids but don’t go outside – walking or driving – in severe weather unless you really need to.
"If you do need to take a walk wrap up warm and wear sturdy, non-slip footwear to avoid slips, trips and falls.
“We also call on people to look in on neighbours, particularly if they are elderly or living alone.
"They are often the ones in most need and communities working together for each other’s good health is especially important at this very cold time.”
The ambulance service is using extra resources such as 4x4s to ensure staff and patients can keep moving in the conditions.
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