Diggle Chippy, Winter 2010 (Photo: Stuart Coleman©2011)

West Yorkshire Police are encouraging local people to get prepared for winter.

The past two winters have seen severe weather in some parts of the region, with winter 2009/10 the coldest recorded nationally since 1978/79. In West Yorkshire, this caused significant snow and ice problems leading to an increase in road traffic accidents, hospital admissions and school closures.

West Yorkshire Resilience Forum, which is made up of a number of health, local authority and emergency services, is urging people to take a few simple steps which could reduce their risk of ill-health, accident or injury in the coming months. By being prepared and stocking up on a few essentials, people can reduce the risk of being caught out by a sudden cold snap.

Co-Chair of West Yorkshire Resilience Forum, West Yorkshire Police Assistant Chief Constable Mark Milsom said:
“We’ve seen a couple of hard winters and that severe weather creates an increased demand on all agencies, including police, council and health. While some of that is due to the unavoidable, such as road crashes and people being taken ill, there are precautions people can take now to reduce the risks. Bad weather always stretches our resources and while we can copy, response times for the emergency services for example can be reduced, if only because it is more difficult for us to get around too.”

“Simple things make a difference, such as keeping yourself warm at home by ensuring you have enough heating oil, along with grit and salt if you live in an inaccessible area. We’d also like to see people looking out for their neighbours, particularly if they are elderly or living alone.”

“If you’re a motorist, make sure now that your vehicle is ready for the months ahead. The winter months take a lot more out of a car and can identify any weak points in the battery or electrical system. A pre-winter service is a useful investment.”

Oldham Council have stated that they have more than adequate supplies of grit and will work to keep primary routes open and free from snow and ice.

Saddleworth Parish Councillor Royce Franklyn said that the system needs to be sensitive to weather forecasts and all equipment being deployed should be fit for purpose.  Also, there is a need to target secondary routes and there should be more community involvement in the management of tertiary routes.

West Yorkshire Police advise people to stock up on rock salt for their driveways and keep an eye out for their neighbours, particularly if they are elderly or vulnerable.

For more information click here.



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