Nov 26 2010 By Tara Brady
BRENT Council says it is ready for the worst that winter has to throw at the borough, including the possibility of early snowfall this week.
Last year's unusually cold winter resulted in many local authorities almost running out of road salt.
During the final period of ice and snow this year Brent had just one day's supply left.
This year, 2010 to 2011, Brent has almost 1,000 tonnes of grit in stock already to guard against an early frost.
A further 3,000 tonnes will be delivered, which is 1,000 tonnes more than was used last winter.
Mark O'Brien, a StreetCare officer with Brent Council, is monitoring the weather forecast very carefully as winter sets in.
He said: "There's no way of knowing for sure what kind of weather we'll get over the next few months but we're well prepared should some predictions of an early snowfall prove correct. Brent Council aims to keep main roads and routes open and traffic moving, but side roads and pavements will not be cleared.
"If you clear snow and ice yourself, be careful doing it and don't make the pathways more dangerous by allowing them to refreeze. There's no law stopping you from clearing snow and ice on the pavement outside your home, or a vulnerable neighbour's house. If you decide to do so, do it properly and thoroughly, spreading salt at night to prevent it refreezing.
"There are 300 yellow grit bins around Brent which can be used by members of the public for salting pavements, but not private driveways. However, ordinary table salt is cheap and very effective. It should be used sparingly and distributed evenly, side-to-side from shoulder height onto icy surfaces or hard surfaces that have been cleared of recent snowfall."
During the whole of the winter period of 2009/10 the council used 2,000 tonnes of road salt to keep major routes moving, 50 per cent more than the previous highest total.
This compares to 986 tonnes for the entire winter of 2008/2009 and only 371 tonnes for 2007/2008.
For more information and advice on winter weather issues www.brent.gov.uk/winter or telephone StreetCare on 020 8937 5050.