Gritters working around the clock to clear Suffolk roads in Storm Darcy

The gritters have been working to make Suffolk's roads safe during Storm Darcy

The gritters have been working to make Suffolk's roads safe during Storm Darcy - Credit: Suffolk Highways

Due to the severe weather conditions of Storm Darcy, Suffolk's gritters have been out on the roads covering over 6,000 miles since Saturday.

A total of 74 drivers have been working hard to grit the roads and up to 10cm of snow has already fallen in the region today.

Major roads such as the A12 and A14 have been covered in snow, though some of this has melted as more traffic hits the highways.

Gritters are out around the clock covering Suffolk Highways' priority 1 and 2 network, which represents over 50% of the entire road network in Suffolk.

However, the lack of traffic during lockdown has made it harder to bed the grit in, as usually other vehicles help by way of using the roads shortly after it has been laid.

The current advice on travel is to stay at home and only travel if essential, and drive to the conditions of the road.

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Snow ploughing is sometimes carried out on busy A roads to keep them passable, but the department also calls on farmers and contractors across the county to help with clearing snow and ice during the winter months on roads where it can not plough.

Priority 1 routes are gritted an hour before hazardous conditions set in, while priority 2 routes are done when longer period of hazardous conditions are predicted and take place by 7.30am in the morning.

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Priority 1 routes cover approximately 1259 miles and 37 routes:

  • All A and B roads
  • Roads to 24 hour fire stations, accident and emergency hospitals, main bus and rail stations - where the road meets the public highway 
  • All roads where the traffic flow exceeds 4000 vehicles a day
  • Bus services that operate a five day a week service (where practicable)
  • Long hills in excess of 5% gradient (where practicable)

Priority 2 routes cover approximately 843 miles and 34 routes:

  • Other bus routes where the service level is five days a week in the school term, and a public service licensed vehicle is used (where practicable)
  • Roads leading to rural villages
  • Access to other schools

Several vehicles have been involved in accidents due to the snowy conditions, including a three car pile up on the A12, a rolled 4x4 car in Naughton and a man who skidded into a hedge in East Suffolk.

For more information visit the Suffolk County Council website.

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