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New kit on the block to clear the snow away
11:09am Thursday 17th January 2013 in News
THESE two new quad bikes – the latest addition to Chipping Norton’s snow fleet – were unveiled just before the first snow of winter fell this week.
Since the launch of the ‘snow plan’ last winter, the committee now has more than 20 volunteers – snow wardens – who will pitch in with salt and spreaders when the white stuff falls.
The two Honda quad bikes, which have been fitted with snow ploughs on the front and mechanical spreaders on the back, have been leased to the town council from Guy Wall, director of tractor company Machine Link.
Chippy is well prepared for snow this year, with 54 grit bins, 20 new snow shovels and five new walking spreaders, along with a tractor fitted with a skid spreader, also on loan from Mr Wall. Councillor Mike Tysoe, who is part of a five-strong snow committee formed in response to the heavy snow last year, said the new quad bikes were strategically placed at each end of the main road.
“They can be put into action within 10 minutes,” he said.
“They are very smart pieces of kit.”
The ‘snow plan’ was launched last winter after West Oxfordshire District Council and Oxfordshire County Council said they were only going to clear main roads including the A44 and A361.
Meanwhile, a fleet of new snow blowers designed to clear footways during severe winter weather are being readied by Warwickshire County Council (WCC). The four snow blowers have been positioned at strategic locations around the county – including a depot near Shipston – to enable highways teams to tackle extreme conditions on the ground.
The machines are able to carve a 24-inch wide path and cut through up to 20 inches deep and are capable of processing up to 50 tonnes of snow per hour.
Councillor Peter Butlin, WCC’s portfolio holder for highways and transport, said: “We have bought in some snow blowers as an additional tool to clear large quantities of snow from footways. We also have a fleet of gritters covering the county’s roads and snow wardens helping clear ice and snow in their communities.”