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Snow in Islington: Council gritters take to the streets as blizzards continue

PUBLISHED: 11:55 11 December 2017 | UPDATED: 12:27 11 December 2017

Chloe Cassidy, seven, and Georgia Cassidy, five, play in the snow on Highbury Fields. Picture: Polly Hancock

Chloe Cassidy, seven, and Georgia Cassidy, five, play in the snow on Highbury Fields. Picture: Polly Hancock

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Weekend blizzards made work for young snowman builders in Highbury Fields – and street gritters on the borough’s road network.

The Szentes Family build a snowman on Highbury Fields: Koppany, eight, Reka, seven, and Almos, celebrating his fourth birthday. Picture: Polly HancockThe Szentes Family build a snowman on Highbury Fields: Koppany, eight, Reka, seven, and Almos, celebrating his fourth birthday. Picture: Polly Hancock

The town hall says 500 tons of grit are being spread across Islington by 24 vehicles, although it has asked the public to dig in to the 300 grit bins and give them a hand on smaller roads.

Street sweepers have changed hats to pitch in too, though the council acknowledges not all 162 miles of its road network will be covered.

Transport boss Cllr Claudia Webbe with staff from one of the 24 gritting lorries out and about in Islington over the weekend. Picture: Islington CouncilTransport boss Cllr Claudia Webbe with staff from one of the 24 gritting lorries out and about in Islington over the weekend. Picture: Islington Council

That doesn’t include streets owned by Transport for London, including Upper Street, the Holloway Road and the Pentonville Road.

“We cannot grit all roads due to cost and time restraints,” the council says on its website.

The Sanchez Family build a snowman on Highbury Fields with a Colombian Hat and an Arsenal scarf. Picture: Polly HancockThe Sanchez Family build a snowman on Highbury Fields with a Colombian Hat and an Arsenal scarf. Picture: Polly Hancock

“After main roads, priority is given to hospitals, fire stations, ambulance stations and to at least one access road from the main road network to all communities.”

An online map showing the council’s gritting routes by priority was not working as of this morning, but the town hall is working on a fix.

Claire, Holly, Peter and Rhys from Whistler Street enjoy the snow in Highbury Fields. Picture: Polly HancockClaire, Holly, Peter and Rhys from Whistler Street enjoy the snow in Highbury Fields. Picture: Polly Hancock

Despite scattered complaints on social media, including one from an irate barrister, the council says it was out and about with gritting lorries on both Saturday and Sunday – and has released a photo to prove it.

Its teams will take to the streets again from 2pm, although no more snow is expected after today for the rest of the week.

The Sanchez Family build a snowman on Highbury Fields with a Colombian Hat and an Arsenal scarf. Picture: Polly HancockThe Sanchez Family build a snowman on Highbury Fields with a Colombian Hat and an Arsenal scarf. Picture: Polly Hancock

Temperatures are set to drop below freezing overnight in north London, while heavy rain is forecast from Wednesday.

Visit islington.gov.uk/gritting for more information.

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