Sheffield gritting teams insist they are working ‘around the clock’

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Sheffield Council’s gritting team has insisted workers have been out on the streets around the clock to help the city’s main roads remain clear in the snow.

Residents from all over Sheffield reported problems as snow began to blanket the city on Boxing Day evening, with hundreds stuck in their cars in gridlocked traffic for hours.

Temperatures are set to drop to freezing again tonight and the Met Office has issued a cold weather alert which runs into tomorrow, when temperatures could dip as low as -2C.

The gritting teams are set to grit all of the priority routes in Sheffield again this evening as the cold snap continues.

Dozens of readers on The Star’s Facebook page criticised an apparent lack of salt on the roads and many said the gritters were nowhere to be seen.

But a spokesman for council contractor Amey said: “The Streets Ahead team completed a full grit run before the snow last night and we have manned 19 gritters around the clock since then, laying over 700 tonnes of grit to keep Sheffield moving.

“All priority one routes were passable by 5am this morning and we will continue to work on the priority two roads today.

“We ask road users to travel with care as temperatures are forecast to drop again later and conditions remain tricky.”

On The Star, Sheffield Facebook page, Darren Laycock said: “I live on Prince of Wales Road - traffic started queuing at about 8pm and cleared by about 11pm - didn’t see one gritting lorry at all.

“Cars abandoned everywhere - it’s not like the snow was a surprise was it?”

Marilyn Collins said: “We live at the bottom of a hill that is the main bus route for Shiregreen, no gritters and no buses.

“This always happens when it snows, we can be days without public transport.”

And Melissa Johnson said: “Two and a half hours from Crosspool to Hillsborough on a main hospital bus route and not one gritter or snow plough.”

Those stuck in last night’s snow included a coachload of 30 people travelling from Sheffield to London.

The group, which included one pregnant woman, had to stay the night in Our Lady and St Thomas Church in Meadowhead after their coach got stuck in the snow as they tried to leave the city.

Passenger Chloe McIntosh told reporters: “Some people from the houses nearby have come and offered us tea. Then they opened up the church.”

They took shelter after getting stuck at 7pm and finally left Sheffield at 5.45am this morning.

Chantelle Esposito, another passenger, said: “The locals who have brought out blankets, tea, coffee, food and shelter have been a blessing.

“I don’t know where we would be at this time without them.”

There have been a number of disruptions to public transport. Follow @TSYalerts on Twitter for the latest travel information.

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