A range of measures are in place to ensure Bristol is prepared for the adverse weather which is being forecast for the rest of this week.
Met Office forecasts for the South West region indicate the city is set for a period of snow and ice from today through to Saturday (3 March).
Bristol City Council has put detailed plans in place to prepare for possible adverse weather to ensure essential services can be delivered, the vulnerable are protected and disruption is minimised as far as possible. However, non-essential services could be affected.
The main priorities for the council have been to ensure plans to safeguard the wellbeing of the homeless, elderly and vulnerable are activated, the highway network is treated to ensure the health and safety of road users and residents have access to information about the status of local services and facilities.
Each council service has a contingency plan that is put into operation in the event of adverse weather to ensure services can operate as close to normal as possible.
Services that support elderly people and the vulnerable will ensure staff are equipped with aids such as shoe snow and ice grips to enable them to walk to the homes of people in need and maintain two to three visits or more a day if needed. The services also have access to a number of 4x4 vehicles to collect staff and taxi them to the homes of people in most need. All social care providers are being advised of the forecast and council staff are supporting them to continue delivering services.
Local organisations supporting the homeless have activated the city’s Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP) to ensure extra beds are made available for the city’s rough sleepers and protect them against the extreme cold. Over 100 bed spaces are currently available and outreach teams are busy engaging with those on the streets to encourage them to take up a temporary bed whilst temperatures remain low. Further advice on homelessness is available at www.bristol.gov.uk/homeless and rough sleepers can be reported to StreetLink via www.streetlink.org.uk.
Gritters have been operating on the local highway network since Friday (23 February) to ensure sufficient grit is put down to keep roads as clear of ice and snow as possible. The council currently has access to more than enough salt deposits with around 900 tonnes in stock and a further delivery expected on Monday (5 March). The council is also working with public transport providers to minimise service disruption but people should prepare for some impact on public transport services.
A network of over 100 community snow wardens across the city are on standby to clear snow from footpaths in their local areas and wardens in some areas have received additional grit.
Many schools will close early this afternoon and many are expected to be closed tomorrow (Friday 2 March). Decisions will be based on the risk posed to safeguarding the health and safety of pupils and staff. A full list of the status of every school in Bristol is available on the council website - www.bristol.gov.uk/schools-learning-early-years/school-closures-list-of-schools
For the duration of this period of adverse weather residents are reminded to avoid unnecessary journeys, stay warm and keep in touch with the latest news developments by tuning into local radio, news sites and social media.
RED weather warnings have been issued for areas surrounding Bristol, but do not currently apply to the city. The council is monitoring forecasts closely and will provide further updates should forecasts change.
For more information about how you and your family can prepare visit: