Region to escape the worst of the snow

A little snowman on the roof of a car in Dukes Walk Shopping Centre car park, Waterlooville.''Pictures: (13103-448)
A little snowman on the roof of a car in Dukes Walk Shopping Centre car park, Waterlooville.''Pictures: (13103-448)
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THE Portsmouth region is set to escape the snowfall that is hitting many other parts of the country, the Met Office has said.

Even though temperatures are set to plummet further in the coming days, the Portsmouth area is expected to suffer only rain and sleet.

The Met Office said that due to the area’s coastal climate, Portsmouth and the surrounding area will avoid any serious weather conditions, apart from a risk of icy roads.

Both Portsmouth City Council and Hampshire County Council say they are prepared for a freeze by ensuring priority routes in the city and county are cleared of any leftover snow and roads are salted to ensure drivers and other road users can travel safely.

A Portsmouth City Council spokesman said: ‘Our priority has to be vital transport routes in and out of the city, major bus routes and major routes to places like hospitals, schools and shopping centres.’

And Hampshire County Council leader, Ken Thornber, has said the county can rely on 100 farmers to help clear the roads should snow fall towards the north of the county.

He said: ‘While we are expecting it to get much colder across the county, according to the forecasts that we receive, the chances of snow in Hampshire are slim and sleet is more likely.

‘We are fully prepared however, and ready to keep the county moving in the event of snowfall and freezing conditions.

‘Our salt barns are well stocked with enough salt for 15 days continuous round-the-clock salting, 3,000 community salt bins have salt in them for people to deposit salt on public roads and pavements.

‘Additionally around 100 farmers are ready to assist with clearing the roads of snow using snow ploughs if needed.

‘As always during the winter season, salting lorries are on stand-by ready to salt Priority 1 routes when temperatures are set to fall to zero or below.’

Cllr Thornber also urged residents to keep an eye on elderly or vulnerable neighbours during the cold snap.

He added: ‘This is especially important in rural communities where not everyone has access to mains gas and communications can be affected. Anyone who has a concern about a neighbour can call 0845 603 5630.’