Weather hits services

A winter view over Wigan town centre
A winter view over Wigan town centre
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HEAVY snowfall brought chaos to Wigan yesterday as council chiefs suspended bin collections and the majority of the borough’s schools and libraries were also closed.

Despite a let-up in the snowfall over the weekend, heavy snow returned to the borough in the early hours of Monday morning causing chaos for commuters.

Although main roads across the borough had been gritted, many roads leading off them were covered with two to three inches of snow. The Highways Agency reported long delays on the M6 south and northbound till around 10am and the M62 and M61 were both affected.

The majority of schools across the borough closed on Monday and Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust confirmed that many libraries were also closed due to the snow.

A spokesman for Wigan Council said: “The council suspended its waste collection service in light of the weather.

“This decision has been made for health and safety reasons. There has been a heavy snowfall and it is continuing to snow – making many of the roads unsafe for our vehicles.

“The council apologises for the inconvenience this will cause. The decision has been taken to protect the safety of the public and our staff.

“Residents can get updates on the council website or contact our call centre on 01942 404364 for more information.

“For those residents whose black bin was due to be collected on Monday, their next collection will be in two weeks’ time as scheduled. Side waste (additional tied up bags of rubbish) will be taken with the next black bin collection.

“Those who have missed a recyclable collection (green, blue or brown bin) will now have to wait for their next scheduled collection dates. Unfortunately, side waste for excess recyclables will not be collected.

“Excess rubbish and recyclables can be taken to one of our local household waste recycling centres. Please check the site is open before starting your journey.

The Met Office has predicted more snow and freezing temperatures to continue to hit the borough this week and transport chiefs are urging motorists to be vigilant.

Steve Crosthwaite, head of the Agency’s National Traffic Operations Centre, said: “Thanks to the forecast and some detailed planning we were well prepared for heavy snow – and we’d also like to thank motorists who heeded the advice to prepare for their journey.

“During periods of severe weather we also suggest people consider whether their journey is essential. They may want to delay their travel until conditions improve and to allow our winter fleet the chance to treat the roads.”