More than 6,000 tonnes of grit already used in Sheffield this winter BEFORE 'Beast from the East' gets its claws into city
More than 6,000 tonnes of grit has already been spread on Sheffield's streets this winter, as the city braces itself for a big freeze.
Council contractor Amey, which is responsible for maintaining Sheffield's roads and pavements, today revealed it has used 6,146 tonnes of grit so far this winter.
That is already nearly 60 per cent more than the 3,894 tonnes laid during the whole of last winter.
With a high pressure system nicknamed the 'Beast from the East' forecast to bring sub-zero conditions from Siberia to Sheffield, much more is likely to be needed over the coming days and possibly weeks.
The Met Office has warned the latest cold spell to hit the UK could cause travel delays and power cuts.
Amey, which runs the Â£2.2 billion Streets Ahead contract for Sheffield Council, is responsible for looking after more than 600 miles of roads across the city.
As in other cities, only the main arterial roads and busiest footpaths are gritted, though grit bins are located around Sheffield for members of the public to use.
Amey has urged people to check the weather forecast before travelling, and to allow extra time for journeys if adverse conditions are expected.
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Lynsey Connelly, highways operations manager for Streets Ahead, said twice as much grit has been used in Sheffield so far this winter as was used by this time last winter.
But she said there are still 13,000 tonnes stockpiled at Sheffield's two depots, and supplies will continue to be topped up as required.
"The last couple of winters were much milder than this one, and we've had to do a heck of a lot more gritting this season," she said.
"But we're always prepared for the worst, and the cold weather this winter has not come as a surprise to us.
"You're never going to please everybody all the time, as there are always roads which aren't gritted because they're not on our priority routes.
"But generally we're pleased with how it's gone so far, and we're ready to react to what's coming."
She urged motorists to take care over the next week, given the extremely low temperatures forecast.