COUNTY NEWS: Winter weather rehearsal ‘Operation Snowflake’ takes place tomorrow

Operation Snowflake

Operation Snowflake

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Gritters will be taking the streets of West Sussex tomorrow morning (October 1) as ‘Operation Snowflake’ is launched in preparation for winter.

The dry run will take place between 7am and 11am to test the county council’s response to icy and snow weather events on the roads.

WSCC aims for the rehearsal to help keep safe main roads, approaches to hospitals, approaches to school and colleges and busy bus routes.

County council cabinet member for highways and transport, John O’Brien, said: “The major benefit of this rehearsal is our drivers are reminded and more aware of the routes they are travelling.

“Problems such as overgrown hedges can be spotted ahead of the real runs later in the year.”

Drivers will not spread any salt during Saturday’s operation.

“It helps us prepare to make sure when day one of the real gritting work starts, we get everything completed in the correct time,” added Mr O’Brien.

Contractor Balfour Beatty runs the rehearsal every autumn and drivers use Operation Snowflake to check their gritters and equipment are in good working order, as well as familiarising themselves again with the routes.

Twenty-two gritters will be out during Operation Snowflake, with ten going out from the Jobs Lane depot near Hickstead.

Six are running from Clapham, and six from Drayton.