Police chiefs, fire bosses, council leaders and army representatives formulating plan to beat Beast from the East
PUBLISHED: 13:00 02 March 2018 | UPDATED: 13:50 02 March 2018
With more snow set to fall on frozen roads across Norfolk, police fire and council chiefs have been meeting to try and keep the county moving - and safe.
Police chiefs, together with fire bosses, council leaders and representatives from the army have met at Wymondham’s police headquarters to formulate a plan of action as the cold weather continues to bite.
The meeting of the Local Resilience Forum heard a volunteer “cell” set up involving fire, search and rescue teams as well as farmers using vehicles, like 4x4s and excavating machinery to help free stranded vehicles, had been working “really well”.
Chief Inspector Sonia Humphreys, from Norfolk Constabulary’s contact and control room, was one of those present at the multi-agency meeting.
She said that cell would be continuing to operate across the county not only to help motorists that have been stranded but also free emergency vehicles that have got stuck trying to free them or attend emergencies.
Chf Insp Humphreys said they had reports of about 50 abandoned vehicles in the county last night but that number to increase today.
She said police have been working with highways to locate the vehicles and establish if there was anyone in them before locating the owners to get the vehicles moved.
The problem with abandoned vehicles is that they not only block the roads but also stop the gritters from getting through.
The meeting heard from the Met Office that they will be further snowfall across the county later this afternoon (Friday, March 2) with up to 8cm expected in places.
Chf Insp Humphreys said: “We’re going to continue to monitor the ongoing weather conditions.”
She said key messages to the public continued to be only to drive if absolutely necessary.
Chf Insp Humphreys said they appreciated that having now been in this situation for several days there would be those who needed to go out for food and other essentials.
But those who were going out were being urged to make trips together rather than individually to try and keep the number of vehicles on the road - and therefore in danger of getting stuck or trapped - to a minimum.
Anyone going out has also been advised to let others know where they are going and when they expect to arrive.
Anyone who does get stuck or feels they are in danger, should call police on 101 or 999 if an emergency.
Drivers who need to travel at any point today are advised to:
• Plan ahead – check your route on a planner to see the latest traffic updates
• Tell friends or family about your travel plans – include the route – and let them know when you’ve arrived
• Make sure you vehicle is clear of snow/ice, has sufficient fuel and screenwash
• Allow plenty of time for your journey
• Travel at a low speed avoiding sudden braking/steering moves
• Keep a sensible distance between you and the car in front
• Use headlights – do not rely solely on daytime running lights
• If visibility falls below 100m use your fog lights
• Take provisions (blanket, warm clothing, food/water)
• Charge your phone before setting off
• If you get stuck in the snow stay with your car, but in an emergency if you do need to leave it, park it out of the main traffic route, where it won’t cause an obstruction when conditions ease.
• Leave a contact number on the inside of the windscreen and return to your car at the first opportunity you have.