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How does heavy snow affect businesses?

PUBLISHED: 08:20 28 February 2018 | UPDATED: 11:56 28 February 2018

A Norse refuse lorry in Waveney on Tuesday. Picture: Norse

A Norse refuse lorry in Waveney on Tuesday. Picture: Norse

Norse

Snow. In most of us it either brings out childish glee or grumpiness.

Postmaster Neal Gurney who runs five Norfolk Post Office branches. Picture: Post Office Postmaster Neal Gurney who runs five Norfolk Post Office branches. Picture: Post Office

But for firms trying to ensure it is business as usual it can have a damaging effect.

We asked some of the region’s companies how they dealt with the adverse weather.

For haulier Jack Richards, based in Fakenham, icy roads are the biggest issue to contend with.

Dominic Purslow, Palletways depot principal, said the large number of smaller roads in the region made the going tricky and the company warned drivers to pull over if they felt unsafe.

He said: “From a local perspective, deliveries are very problematical with the high number of side roads.

“Operational efficiency can reduced by up to 30%. If you add in slips and trips, minor collisions and recovery costs and one bad week can cost us £50,000.”

Another industry which suffers in the snow is the motor trade.

Norfolk Motor Group managing director Grant Long said customers had cancelled services and test drives due to not wanting to travel.

He added with the March 1 new plate cars hitting the roads this week it could create chaos with buyers not wanting to pick up their vehicles, causing issues for insurance and tax.

Facilities management group Norse has redirected staff from its ground operations to help out with gritting and snow-clearing with shrubs and gardens under a layer of the white stuff.

A Norse spokesman said refuse trucks had been out as normal in the Waveney area and were collecting waste wherever the roads were safe enough to do so.

Group operations director Mark Emms said: “Some normal day-to-day activities can’t be undertaken due to low temperatures or safety or access issues. For instance operatives can’t lay concrete, do fencing, paint outdoors, do roofing works. Instead staff are diverted from these day-to-day tasks to undertake snow and ice clearance on pathways and in car parks.

“The weather causes some reactive issues for Norse to deal with. Clients may experience issues with water leaks caused by frozen pipes. Snow sometimes gets into places rain can’t and so hitherto unknown roofing issues become apparent during the thaw and we will be called to arrange repairs.”

Postmaster Neal Gurney, who runs the Thunder Lane, Acle, Harleston, Drayton and Framingham Earl Post Offices, said all his staff had made it in despite the snow on Tuesady and it was business as usual.

However, he added if the snow continued to fall people should expect some delays in delivery times as roads get more treacherous.

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