Merton keeps schools open during cold snap

Merton Council is keeping its schools open as its gritting teams work around the clock to ensure main roads and secondary roads are ice free, and access to schools remains clear.

Merton’s road maintenance team consists of a fleet of six gritters with drivers, thirty street sweeping staff and a mechanic. Keeping Merton moving, the council’s winter maintenance duty officers are on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week making decisions on when and where to grit, based on Met Office weather forecasts.

The council started filling its salt barn as early as the summer in preparation for any severe winter weather. By the beginning of January, Merton had 2,038 tonnes of grit in its salt barn with a further 735 tonnes delivered this month.

Merton Council cabinet member for education Councillor Martin Whelton said: “It is great to see nearly all our schools open. Just two special needs schools have not opened, which is understandable given the severe disabilities children attending those schools have. I would also like to thank Merton headteachers for ensuring that children were able to attend school today, and that our schools were both safe and accessible. Before the snow arrived we were out gritting the roads and pavements around town centres, schools, train stations and local shops, and we’re confident we’ll be able to deal with any more snow which may be heading our way.”