North East Snow

Snow, ice, freezing temperatures and transport hassle have descended upon the North East once again.

First it got cold...

Of course, for many people, particularly the elderly, the extra cost of keeping warm through a cold snap like this one is a big worry.

I’ve been to talk to some of them at a community centre in Walker in the East of Newcastle:

Then it snowed…

The UK braced for Blizzard-like conditions as snow was picked up by strong winds.

The North East was on yellow alert which means we should be aware.

There was a more severe Met Office amber warning for the west of our region.

So I’ve been reminding myself of all the things we should do before we head out in the car:

And then the North East cranked up the community spirit…

Now are you the sort of person who sees the snow, pulls on your warmest clothes and reaches for the shovel…or are you the one saying today it’s not worth it, I’ll find another way to do what I have to do from home?

There are some people in the North East who don’t have that option. People like carers who know they’ll move heaven and earth to get to work….

I’ve been to meet carer Toni Spears on shift in Gateshead:

Amber snow warnings began to feel like the norm here in the North East.

In rural Northumberland getting about has become increasingly difficult – but two amazing ladies have braved it all to help some of the most vulnerable people in their community.

Two home care assistants took on the work of five people, working long hours and driving across Seahouses, Bamburgh and Beadnell to make sure 20 elderly people got the help they need.

The charity they work for – Age UK Northumberland – has hailed them snow heroes:

Well done Karen Rourke and Louise Swann – home care assistants for Age UK in Northumberland.

And then it melted

All in all…perfect weather for creating and expanding potholes.

Taxi driver Darren Jobe’s got quite a few on his rounds in Sunderland – and he’s been showing me some of the worst offenders:

Sunderland City Council says:

The council employs a team of six highway inspectors whose role is to identify potholes from regular highway inspections and reports from the public.

Should the holes meet the council’s intervention criteria then these will be made safe within 24 hours.

Where holes are not dangerous but may affect the overall long-term condition of the road, these are assessed, prioritised and considered in forthcoming repair programmes. 

Like local authorities across the country, highways work is under pressure because of budgetary constraints.

The condition of our highways network has also been affected by severe winter weather and flooding in recent years.

While additional top up funding from the government has been welcome, it hasn’t been enough to cover all of the damaged caused.

Nonetheless, highways repairs remain a priority for the city and members of the public can report problems through the council’s website or by calling 520 5555.

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