SERVICES across the town are prepared for the worst as the town braces itself for a blanket of snow today.
Light snow showers started yesterday afternoon and the Met Office have issued warnings of snowfall and potential severe travel disruption across the area today.
Reports say that Swindon could expect a significant amount of the white stuff with accumulations of more than 5cms to 10cms.
Swindon Council has said it is well prepared for the snowfall and its operational staff are working round the clock to grit about 270 miles of main roads in the borough using its fleet of seven gritter vehicles.
About half of all roads within Swindon will be gritted and more than 4,000 tonnes of salt and grit are in stock to combat the snow.
Schools are expected to be affected, but as of last night no schools had announced they were closing, with many making the decision this morning.
Clive Zimmerman, the principal of Lydiard Park Academy, said: “We have sent out a letter to all parents reminding them to check our website or listen for the announcements on local radio if the weather is bad enough that there is a chance the school may close.
“I won’t be looking to make any decision regarding tomorrow until 7am tomorrow, as I don’t think we’re currently expecting the heavy stuff until then.”
Public transport may also be hit by the snow, with First Great Western ordering in extra de-icer and anti-freeze, and trains with sanders will be deployed to help alleviate any problems.
Paul Jenkins, the managing director of Thamesdown Transport, said: “When severe weather conditions are forecasted, Thamesdown has plans in place to monitor the weather affecting all of our routes and implement temporary changes where needed.
“We also issue Bad Weather Bulletins which can be found on our website www.thamesdownbus.com from 6am on affected days. Passengers can also call the Thamesdown helpline on 01793 428428. We would advise people to also listen to the local radio.”
Wiltshire Police are asking motorists to take care if there is snow, which could lead to difficult conditions for drivers.
Chief Superintendent Paul Mills said: “The Met Office weather forecast predicts that we are likely to experience snow and icy roads throughout Wiltshire today and over the weekend.
“This will lead to poor driving conditions and motorists should take extra care.
“Our best advice is to avoid any unnecessary journeys if at all possible, however there are measures road users can take to help reduce any risks.”
Bosses at Great Western Hospital say they will do all they can to keep disruption to services to a minimum during the severe weather conditions.
The hospital trust also runs the community hospitals in Chippenham, Trowbridge, Devizes, Savernake, Melksham and Warminster.
A GWH spokesman said patients with appointments and operations scheduled for today should, if they can travel in safely, attend as normal unless the hospital contacts them.
The spokesman said contingency plans were in place to help essential staff get to the hospitals by using 4x4 transport.
It was too early to say if services will be affected but GWH will be putting updates on its website – www.gwh.nhs.uk and Twitter – @GWH_NHS