Plymouth prepares for cold snap

Plymouth City Council is monitoring the weather situation closely over the next few days and teams are on standby to deal with any potential problems caused by the snow and ice predicted to affect the region.

Here is how all of our different departments are preparing.


The Council’s fleet of gritters are pre-treating the city’s primary and secondary routes each night and are re-gritting in the early hours where necessary.

Drivers are advised to check the weather forecast and avoid making journeys in freezing conditions wherever possible. If they do decide to travel they should check their route, drive according to the conditions and take extra care.

There are around 400 community salt bins around the city, which people can use to treat local roads and footways that are not routinely gritted. Salt from these bins should not be stockpiled for use on private property.

Residents who want to treat pavements and driveways in front of their properties should only need a tablespoon of salt for each square metre. Ordinary table salt and dishwasher salt can also be used.

People should avoid using hot water to clear snow or ice as this freezes and causes even more hazardous conditions.

Information on which roads are pre-treated and grit bin locations can be found by clicking here. To report an empty salt bin, please call the team on 01752 668000.


Our Adult Social Care staff are working with all of our partners to ensure that some of the more vulnerable members of the community receive the support they need over the next few days.

Residents who have friends, family or neighbours that may be alone, at risk of ill health or elderly are urged to check in on them regularly.


The Council’s recycling and rubbish crews have been asked to arrive for work each morning and residents should leave their bins out as usual.

Managers will assess the road and weather conditions before a decision is taken on whether to embark on rounds or not.

If collections do not go ahead, updates will be issued as early as possible at and on the Council’s Twitter and Facebook pages.


We instigated our Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP) on Sunday. This is the second time this year we have done this.

The protocol is implemented when the temperature is forecast to drop to 0˚C (or below) for three consecutive nights.

The aim of this protocol is to ensure all relevant agencies in Plymouth come together to provide a space where people who are rough sleeping can come indoors during cold and severe weather.

If you see anyone sleeping rough you can advise the Rough Sleeper Team by clicking here or by phoning 01752 255889


Decisions concerned with school closures are made on an individual school basis by the Head Teacher to reflect local circumstances. Parents should always check with the school in the first instance.

The Council are responsible for school transport for pupils with special, educational needs and disabilities. Routes are covered by either taxis or mini buses.


If a pupil is travelling by taxi and the decision is made to cancel or alter a route due to bad weather, it is the taxi driver’s responsibility to inform the individual parent or carer.

If a pupil is travelling via mini-bus parents will be contacted by text message by the School Transport team. We will also share messages on local radio and update our website.

We would always advise parents or carers to contact us directly if they are unsure if their route is running.


The Council will publish regular updates on social media over the next few days.

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Plymouth Newsroom –