Winter

Last updated: Sat 2nd February 2019

The Met Office has issued a Yellow Warning for Snow this week. You can keep up to date by following @MetOffice or on their website at www.metoffice.gov.uk

Keep up to date

In the event of  sub zero temperatures and adverse weather, some Council services may be disrupted. Please follow our social media channels – @readingcouncil and facebook/readingcouncil. This page will also be regularly updated.

Bins

Update Friday February 1st:

Bin collections have been suspended today. We will start collections again on Monday (Feb 4th) and we aim to catch up by next Saturday (Feb 9th). Please leave your bins out for collection on your normal scheduled day. Thank you for bearing with us while we catch up.

Roads

Update Saturday February 2nd:

  • All primary routes treated 2pm and 7pm

Update Friday February 1st:

  • All primary routes were treated at 1am, 4am, 8am, 3pm and 10pm Secondary were also  treated in the morning and afternoon. 
  • Council teams were redeployed to hand clear snow on footways and lay grit at the following locations: Town Centre, Reading Bridge, Caversham Bridge, Reading Train Station, around Royal Berkshire Hospital, Christchurch Bridge, Meadway Precinct and Tilehurst Precinct.
  • Redeployed parks teams cleared footpaths around Care Homes / Sheltered Units. 
  • Due to the weather we are unable to complete improvement works on Erleigh Road and Matlock Road today. The roads will continue to be closed over the weekend and for one / two days next week in order to complete the works.

Update Thursday January 31st:

  • The town centre pavements will be treated from 1pm today in preparation for the predicted snow and ice later today.
  • All primary routes across Reading treated from 1pm. Secondary routes treated from 7pm. Primary routes treated again at 9.30pm.
  • Mechanical sweeping of the Town Centre will be temporarily suspended from 1pm today to ensure that the treatment remains in place. We will continue to review/monitor weather conditions and reinstate mechanical sweeping as soon as it is safe to do so. Litter picking and bin emptying will continue as normal.

The Council has an established a Winter Maintenance Plan which outlines where and when roads will be gritted during cold weather. You can view the plan here: www.reading.gov.uk/media/5347/Winter-Service-Plan/pdf/Winter_Service_Plan_2018-2019.pdf

View a map of the gritting routes here: www.reading.gov.uk/media/5348/Salting-routes/pdf/Winter_Salting_Routes_2018-2019.pdf 

The Highways Team is prepared for the freezing conditions and possible snow. Salt stocks are at a healthy level and the Council’s contractor will deliver as many salt runs as required during the cold snap.

Traffic cameras can be accessed by following this link: http://www.reading-travelinfo.co.uk/live-traffic-cameras.aspx

Follow @readingcouncil on Twitter for regular gritting updates.

Schools

If any schools are closed due to the weather, parents should in the first instance be contacted by their school. Parents can also check  individual school websites for updates and listen to BBC Radio Berkshire and other local radio stations for news of school closures in their area.

The Council relies on schools to inform us of any closures during adverse weather. Where we are informed of school closures we will list those here:

Closed Friday February 1st:

Maiden Erlegh School, Reading

EP Collier

St Martin’s School

Geoffrey Field Infant and Geoffrey Field Junior Schools

Phoenix College

Micklands 

The Ridgeway

Thameside Primary

Blagrave Nursery School

Blagdon Nursery School

The Avenue School

Cranbury College

Manor Primary School

St Michael’s Primary School

English Martyrs

St John’s Primary

New Town Primary 

New Christ Church Primary

Blessed Hugh Faringdon (apart from Year 11 students sitting Health and Social Care exam this morning)

Oxford Road Primary

Wilson Primary

Redlands Primary School

The Hill

Churchend Primary Academy

Alfred Sutton Primary

Katesgrove School

Southcote School

Holybrook School

St Mary and All Saints

All Saints Primary

Caversham Nursery (open until 12.15)

Churchend Primary

Kendrick

New Bridge Nursery

Reading School

St Mary’s

The Wren

Caversham Primary

Homelessness

Anyone who is worried about someone sleeping rough can report it at www.streetlink.org.uk

When temperatures fall to below freezing for three consecutive nights, the Council activates its Severe Weather Emergency Provision plan – or SWEP for short. This is to ensure homeless people do not have to bed down outside in freezing conditions.

The Council works throughout the year with voluntary and community sector partners to help people who are sleeping rough, but extra emergency beds are made available once SWEP is activated.

Local services provided by St Mungo’s, Launchpad Reading, social housing provider Riverside and the Salvation Army, work in partnership to ensure that anyone at risk of sleeping rough during severe weather is offered emergency accommodation. Hostels funded by the council prepare to open up their communal areas to accommodate as many extra people as possible.

St Mungo’s carry out assessments and offer advice to anyone using emergency beds. During this time, extra support and advice is also available to prevent people from returning to sleeping rough.  FAITH Christian Group also operates Bed for the Night which offers bed spaces for homeless people with local connections throughout January and February.

All of this is in addition to the Council’s usual work to help rough sleepers which continues throughout the year. For more information on what the Council does to help rough sleepers all year around, go to www.reading.gov.uk/roughsleeping.

Stay Well

If you’re worried about a relative or elderly neighbour, contact Reading Borough Council on 0118 937 3747 (01344 786 543 out-of-hours emergencies only) or call the Age UK helpline on 0800 678 1174 (8am-7pm every day).

Very cold weather can have a serious impact on health and wellbeing, especially for vulnerable adults, including older people, people with health conditions and people with disabilities, as well as families with young children.

Public Health England advice can be found here: www.gov.uk/government/news/cold-weather-alerts-and-health-warnings-issued#top-tips.

People are being encouraged to share the advice with family and friends and check in on vulnerable family, friends and neighbours.

It is a good idea to keep a supply of medicines, and tinned, frozen and long-life foods to avoid  going out if it is icy and make a list of emergency numbers.

Speak to your pharmacist as soon as you start to feel unwell, even if it is just a cold or cough. Don’t forget there is a new Enhanced Access service with local GPs which means people can now make appointments for the evening, weekends and bank holidays.

Patients need to be registered with a local GP surgery and can book appointments in the usual way through their GP.  For out of hours advice that’s fast, easy and free contact NHS non-emergency number 111 to speak to a highly trained adviser, supported by healthcare professionals. They will ask a series of questions to assess symptoms and immediately direct people to the best medical care. For further advice on keeping well visit www.nhs.uk/staywell

Help with Heating

If you can, heat your home to at least 18 degrees C (65F). Winter Watch offers help with heating for residents who are on a low income and either over 60, have very young children, have a disability or health concerns. It is available until 31st March. Visit www.reading.gov.uk/winterwatch or call 0118 937 3747 for more information.