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Londonís boroughs prepare for cold weather

Released on 17 January 2013

As the capital braces itself for more cold weather this winter, London Councils – the body representing all 32 of London's boroughs and the City of London - will once again be joining forces with Transport for London (TfL) to keep London moving.

The organisations have co-ordinated plans, developed alongside emergency services and Network Rail, to keep the transport system and a network of key routes open throughout even the most severe weather. This includes roads and footways around bus garages and stations, hospitals, railway stations and police, fire and ambulance stations across London.

London boroughs and TfL have stockpiled more than 89,000 tonnes of salt to ensure that all road users, including pedestrians and cyclists, can continue to get around the capital. A fleet of road gritters will be deployed to keep roads clear and arrangements are in place to enable boroughs to share salt stores with each other should they require them. The pan-London Strategic Salt Reserve of 27,000 tonnes, which has not been called into use during the past two winters, is also available should supplies become low.

Borough and TfL staff will be working around the clock on the Tube, bus, rail and road networks to minimise disruption during freezing conditions.

Londoners and visitors to the city are urged to “check before you travel”, particularly during the cold weather period, and to allow extra journey time where necessary. TfL has a range of travel tools available to help passengers plan ahead, get travel information on the move and work out the best way home at www.tfl.gov.uk/tfl/traveltools.

Passengers can check before travelling by visiting www.tfl.gov.uk/check or follow @tfltravelalerts, @tfltrafficnews and @tflbusalerts on Twitter.

Nick Lester, Corporate Director of Services at London Councils, said:

 “London boroughs are working to ensure that the capital is able to keep moving as smoothly as possible during any bout of severe weather this winter. Throughout the year, boroughs and their partners have been working on their plans to ensure that main roads and footpaths across London are kept open.”

Richard Jones, London Underground’s Head of Network Operations, said:

"This year, we have once again made every preparation possible and have well-rehearsed procedures in place should harsh weather conditions hit London. Our staff are working around the clock to make sure that the risk of disruption during freezing conditions is minimised – gritting the roads, de-icing the rails and gritting the platforms.

"Working closely with all London boroughs, we've ensured that there is a fully co-ordinated response covering all parts of the roads and the TfL transport network, and a 27,000 tonne salt reserve for TfL and the boroughs to fall back on should supplies run low.”

Notes to Editors:

  • The 32 boroughs, the City of London and TfL have around 89,000 tonnes of grit available to use between them. Priority routes for gritting are published on borough websites and include main roads, bus routes and roads leading to fire stations and hospitals. Many boroughs will also be gritting pavements in busy areas to help pedestrians and support local businesses. A pan-London Strategic Salt Reserve, which has not needed to be called into use during the past two winter seasons, is also available for TfL and the London boroughs to use should supplies become low throughout the winter.
  • London’s boroughs and TfL will be working to ensure, where possible, that the four current Barclays Cycle Superhighways remain safe to use during the winter months. Additional detailed plans are also in place to ensure Dial a Ride, London River Service and Victoria Coach Station can cope with the winter weather.