Wirral council explain why routes were not gritted before today’s wintry weather traffic chaos

Wirral council have explained why routes were not gritted before today’s sudden downpour of snow and hail that brought routes across Wirral to a standstill.

Wirral council blamed weather forecasts for the reason behind why there was a lack of grit on the roads.

Wirral Council said: “Roads in west Wirral were affected by a sudden, unexpected snow shower this afternoon which caused some difficult driving conditions for drivers.

“As with other local authorities, we receive regular forecasts in order to make a judgement as to when to effectively deploy our gritting fleet, which cover not just predicted weather conditions, but also likely Road Surface Temperatures over a given time period. 

READ MORE: Traffic chaos on Wirral as snow, hail and freezing temperatures make roads treacherous

Images taken 10 minutes apart in Heswall

“At no point today did these forecasts predict this sudden snowfall – if they had, we would have gritters out in advance to minimise its impact.

“The forecast we did have was for possible snowfall around 8pm this evening and for icy conditions on the road from 9pm.

“Although we can react quickly, we can only make decisions based on the latest information we have at any given time.

“For this reason, our gritters were lined up to do a full round from 5.30pm, so that all scheduled routes would have been covered by the time the forecast weather arrived.

“This has now been completed. They will also go out again later tonight and/or tomorrow morning as required.”

Snow and hail showers hit Heswall, Barnston and West Kirby tonight.

Mile long queues were reported as traffic built up due to ‘treacherous conditions, stagecoach canceled bus services due to the bad weather. Several crashes were also reported.

Merseyside is under yellow weather warning of ICE tonight as temperatures could fall below freezing in parts.

With those low temperatures any rain or hail will re-freeze which could cause further traffic problems on Wednesday and injuries due to the slippery conditions.

The Met Office say: “Ice will form in places later on Tuesday afternoon and overnight into Wednesday, especially where wintry showers leave surfaces wet.

“Further hail, sleet and snow showers are also likely at times. Accumulations of several centimetres are likely in places, mainly above 200 metres.”

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