THE clocks are going back, the nights are drawing in, and it won't be too long before the roads start to freeze.
Whenever that happens, Tameside's gritters will be ready. The fleet has been fully serviced at the council's Tame Street depot in Stalybridge and is ready for action as soon as temperatures drop.
In fact, you could see a gritter treating the streets while it's still quite mild. This is all part of the testing regime to make sure the vehicles are in full working order.
The council constantly monitors temperatures and weather forecasts for the onset of freezing conditions and uses this information to treat roads on a priority basis. However, it's important to understand that gritting does not melt snow and ice instantaneously. The mixture needs time to take effect.
Updates are regularly posted on Twitter by @tmbc_highways and @TamesideCouncil For more information visit www.tameside.gov.uk/gritting
The next few weeks, before winter takes hold, is the perfect time to stock up on your own supply of grit – available from supermarkets, garden centres and DIY outlets – so you're equipped to treat paths and driveways when they freeze.
Contrary to scare stories peddled on social media, there is no law that prevents people from clearing snow and ice. So long as they take sufficient care, and do not make surfaces more dangerous, it is extremely unlikely anyone would face legal action. People using areas affected by snow and ice also have responsibility to be careful themselves.
There is more information on this matter at: www.gov.uk/clear-snow-road-path-cycleway
For further information on being prepared for winter weather see www.tameside.gov.uk/winterweather
Cllr Allison Gwynne, Tameside Council's executive member for neighbourhood services, said: "While the council will be doing everything it can to keep key roads clear during periods of snow and freezing weather I would also ask residents to do their bit too
"They can help us by clearing ice outside their homes, stocking up on grit for drives and paths, and by keeping an eye on elderly neighbours. I would also ask them to park considerately so that gritters have no problem in accessing roads."