Surrey farmers recruited in case of snow

Tractor clearing snow Farmers are on standby in case of heavy snow fall

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A team of 50 farmers has been recruited to help clear Surrey's roads if snow falls this winter.

The county council said the farmers would use their tractors and ploughs to minimise disruption in rural areas.

Ian Lake, the cabinet member for transport, said its fleet of 40 gritters and ploughs was unable to cover the whole county.

Last December, the UK experienced the earliest widespread snowfall since 1993, causing heavy disruption.

'Ready to go'

Surrey Council said that farmers will be paid about £45 per hour for use of their time, tractors and fuel.

Arable farmer Ray Simmons, of East Flexford Farm, near Wanborough, and his son Jim are ready to send four ploughs out in the Waverley and Guildford areas, including on the Hogs Back, to unclog snow-hit roads.

Mr Simmons said: "Obviously there was more snow last year than normal and we were out a lot on the roads and then clearing car parks at schools. You want to be out there early before people in vehicles crush it down and make it harder to clear.

"We keep an eye on the weather and prepare well. We make sure the tractors' fuel tanks are full up and we keep everything under cover so we're ready to go as soon as we're needed."

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