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‘With hindsight, we should have put ploughs on gritters sooner’ - says County Hall gritting boss

PUBLISHED: 11:50 28 February 2018 | UPDATED: 14:41 28 February 2018

The Beast from the East has caused hundreds of school closures. Picture: Ian Burt

The Beast from the East has caused hundreds of school closures. Picture: Ian Burt

Archant © 2013

The man responsible for keeping Norfolk’s roads clear has said, gritters have been working through the night to treat the roads, but admitted, with the benefit of hindsight, he would have attached snowploughs to them sooner.

Traffic was at a standstill on a number of roads around the county, with people unable to get into work and a number of bus services cancelled.

And Matt Worden, Norfolk County Council’s area manager south, said had he realised just how much snow was about to fall, he would have acted differently - although he praised his teams who had worked to keep roads clear.

He said: “Since 3pm yesterday we have been out four times and we are out on our fourth run now. That is 49 routes, which is 2,200 miles each time.

“Every time we go out, that’s 330 tonnes of material we put on the roads.

“With hindsight, we should have put the ploughs on the gritters sooner, which I’d have done if we had known how much snow we were going to get, but we didn’t know.

“Conditions deteriorated from about 4am until about 9am and we’ve now got all our gritters out with ploughs. But the A11 and the A47 are solid with traffic and I’ve got two gritters stuck in traffic.

“If I’d known last night what I do now, then I’d have had the ploughs out at 4am. But there wasn’t as much snow forecast as we’ve had.”

Mr Worden said farmers had been on alert to help since Monday and had been doing their bit to help clear snow with their own equipment.

He said: “We are very thankful for the farmers for doing that. We have a relationship with about 90 farmers, but we’ve been calling some of them in the west of the county asking them to go out and they’ve said there’s no point as there’s not that much snow there.

“It’s been the north, east and south where the snow has hit.”

The county council is not responsible for treating the A47 and A11 - those are the responsibility of Highways England.

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