SNOW ALERT: County council make final preparations for snow in Portsmouth

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Salting lorries have been working overtime in the Portsmouth area over the last few days after snow showers were forecast.

Hampshire County Council said winter crews are on standby 24 hours a day to respond to changing weather conditions, while highways teams have been monitoring road and air temperatures to make sure salting lorries are used in the right places.

It comes after the Met Office issued a weather warning for snow and ice in Hampshire and the south east later today.

According to the lastest forecasts snow is likely to fall in Portsmouth between 5pm and 7pm.

Councillor Rob Humby, executive member for environment and transport at Hampshire County Council said: ‘The weather coming towards the south east is certainly going to be a challenge.

‘Heavy rain, turning to sleet and then to snow at rush hour, followed by a high risk of ice for the next few days means that timing of salting runs is crucial.

‘Preparations underway include putting out salt wicks (porous bags filled with salt) at locations where water is likely to run onto the roads from surrounding land.

‘This means that as the water runs through them, it mixes with the salt which then helps prevent ice forming on the road surface.’

He added: ‘I would ask people to take particular care if they are out and about and urge people to drive according to the conditions at all times, even on the roads that have been salted, and to be patient around the salting lorries.

‘People will need to plan their journeys and may need to think about adapting their travelling times. Footways are also likely to be icy, and everyone can help in their neighbourhoods by using the salt bins.

‘Spreading a small amount of salt from the community salt bins on pavements or smaller access roads not covered by the highways crews will make a big impact on ice and frozen snow.’

The council is also asking residents, especially those in rural areas, to look out for vulnerable neighbours during the cold weather.

Councillor Patricia Stallard, executive member for health and public health, added: ‘The cold can kill, and while being able to keep warm is important for everyone, it is particularly vital for older people, the very young and those with long term medical conditions.

‘I would encourage people to look out for any vulnerable neighbours, particularly in rural areas, to ensure they are able to stay warm, have warm food and drinks and have a clear access to and from their homes to help prevent them falling.’

If anyone is worried about an elderly neighbour or relative they should call Hampshire County Council’s Adult’s Health and Care team on 0300 555 1386, during the week in working hours, or call 0300 555 1373 out of hours and on weekends and Bank Holidays.