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Dear Friend, I am sure, like me, you will have been affected by the weather conditions last night and today. I have heard from many local people who had very long, difficult journeys home from work last night. Sutton received up to 30cm of snow over the last 24 hours, the largest amount of snowfall at this time of year for decades .Today many schools in the borough are closed, some trains services are disrupted and roads and paths slippery in places. According to the Met Office, the forecast for today is for continued snow showers adding up to a further 5cm of snow and freezing temperatures are expected over the next few days. Cllr Simon Wales, Executive Member for Communities, Transport and Voluntary Sector at Sutton Council has said: “We are doing everything we can to keep the borough moving and are continuing to operate frontline services, like Meals on Wheels. We would advise all residents to take extra care when they are out and also to keep an eye on any elderly or vulnerable neighbours." Below is some advice and information that you may find useful over the next few days: Local Rail Services: Southern services in South London today are running with delays of up to 50 minutes. South West Trains, First Capital Connect, Southeastern, London Underground, TfL buses and London Tramlink are accepting Southern tickets on all reasonable routes. For more detailed train running information, you can use the Southern journey checker atwww.journeycheck.com/southern or the train times planner on www.nationalrail.co.uk. You can also call national rail enquiries for the latest information on 08457 48 49 50. Roads and Pavements: Sutton Council have told me that their gritters have worked non-stop since 6pm on Monday in a bid to keep the borough moving but the sheer volume of traffic on the roads – caused by commuters leaving work early, buses and cars being abandoned and parents collecting children from closed schools – meant Transport for London and Sutton Council’s gritters struggled to reach all roads yesterday. This resulted in severe travel difficulties yesterday evening and some road closures Local roads and red routes were gritted all through the night and all main roads were reached. In total over 60 tonnes of grit was used overnight. Sutton Council’s gritters will continue to operate 24 hours a day and have also been gritting TfL bus routes. This winter the council has also obtained a third gritter enabling more roads to be covered faster than last year. Local street cleaning staff have been switched from street cleaning to snow clearing duties. They have been prioritising the pavements outside GP surgeries, care homes and schools in our town centres. Inner roads around the borough's hospitals have also been gritted. However the council say that with around 400km of roads in the borough and significantly more footpaths and pavements it is taking time to clear or grit the snow and ice. Gritting vehicles and street scene staff are simply not able to visit every road in the borough but if your local grit bin needs restocking please let Sutton Council know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 8770 5070. Local Schools: As I am sure you are aware, most local schools are closed today. Many schools have updated their websites with information and I'd advise all parents to ring their child's school before heading out or check Sutton Council’s website for updated informationhttp://www.sutton.gov.uk/index.aspx?articleid=5419 As a local resident and commuter, I know just how frustrating the disruption to local services can be and I hope you all manage to keep safe and warm over the next few days. Best Wishes Tom
Tom Brake MP Liberal Democrat for Carshalton and Wallington
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