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Gritting lorries to work round the clock as region is struck by cold snap

PUBLISHED: 16:04 29 November 2017 | UPDATED: 16:04 29 November 2017

Gritter at work on Colne Road, Brightlingsea (stock image). Picture: ANDREW PARTRIDGE

Gritter at work on Colne Road, Brightlingsea (stock image). Picture: ANDREW PARTRIDGE

Archant

Gritting lorries will be out in full force this week as Suffolk and Essex are blasted by bitter Arctic wind and ice.

Wintry showers are set to arrive in East Anglia over the next few days after a yellow weather warning was issued by the Met Office.

Forecasters warn that Suffolk and Essex are facing temperatures as low as 3-4C throughout tomorrow.

Phil Garner, forecaster at Weatherquest, said it was going to feel ‘bitterly cold’ outside.

Gritters will working round the clock in Suffolk and Essex to prevent the build up of ice (stock image) Picture: SIMON PARKER Gritters will working round the clock in Suffolk and Essex to prevent the build up of ice (stock image) Picture: SIMON PARKER

He said: “There will be further wintry showers through Thursday. Some may fall as hail, sleet and wet snow.

“We are expecting temperatures of 3-4C so it will be a bitterly cold day.

“There is potential for heavy persistent showers and a ground frost through the night and icy patches.

“There is also a possibility of a dusting of snow.”

Suffolk and Essex County Councils will have gritter lorries treating the major routes around the clock to prevent the build up of ice on the roads.

Essex Highways has a fleet of 62 gritting lorries and two mini-gritters ready to salt 2,000 miles of roads across Essex.

It had stockpiled 15,500 tonnes of salt ready for the cold season and has made plans top it up throughout winter if needed.

Ian Grundy, Essex County Council cabinet member for highways, said: “We never know what the weather will throw at us, so we always prepare for the worst.

“Our teams use detailed forecast information from our eight weather stations across the county to help decide when and where to salt our county’s roads to ensure we keep Essex moving during the cold months.

“Last year our dedicated crews left festive and New Year’s celebrations to ensure more than 1.4 million Essex residents could get where they needed to be during cold snaps and for that I, and I’m sure our residents are, truly grateful.”

A Suffolk County Council spokesman said between 35 and 40 lorries would be out gritting Suffolk’s roads over the next few days.

He said: “The gritters will be trying to prevent the build up of ice on the roads and we will be making decisions on their routes on a daily basis.

“We would urge motorists to drive to the conditions and take care on the roads.”

The Harvest Centre, home of Brandon Full Gospel Church, held its Christmas meal on Saturday evening and this year invited people who had made a difference in the community.

Snow-lovers in Suffolk and Essex took full advantage of today’s weather by getting outside to enjoy the white stuff despite plummeting temperatures.

A woman arrested on suspicion of causing death by careless driving when under the influence of drink or drugs has been released under investigation.

Kesgrave High School will be closed tomorrow after a major power failure.

A woman was raped in a car in Lowestoft yesterday in what police have described as a “despicable attack”.

Ipswich Town Hall will be 150 years old in January. John Norman looks at its story – one rarely dull.

Headteachers face an “impossible” task of deciding whether to close their school due to snow and fear looking “foolish” later in the day if forecasts prove to be inaccurate, education leaders say.

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