North Yorkshire County Council has mobilised its fleet of four-wheel-drive vehicles to help to continue delivering its services effectively to communities across the county during this early spell of severe wintry weather. As England's biggest county, North Yorkshire has more than five thousand miles of highways, with many roads at high level totally exposed to the elements.
The county council has diverted its fleet of Land Rovers, normally used by its countryside and youth services to be at the disposal of Adult and Community Services - the department responsible for providing adult social care.
In addition, the county council has been given access to four-wheel-drive vehicles owned by some of its public transport contractors to provide back up in the care for older people.
"Our top priority during these extreme conditions is to ensure that those people in need of our care and support continue to receive it," said Derek Law, corporate director for Adult and Community Services.
"The county's highways teams are working flat-out to keep the major transport routes across the county open and safe for motorists. But inevitably, as the bad weather continues, there will be some places which become less easily reached, particularly at higher levels.
"Our four-wheel-drive vehicles will enable us to continue to provide people with the support they need, wherever they live."
He added: "Almost as important as the services provided by the county council and our partner organisations such as the police, the district councils, and the health service, is the support which people can offer each other.
"Extreme weather generates tremendous community spirit, and we are asking people across North Yorkshire to look out for each other, to keep an eye on their neighbours, and generally to help all of us in current freezing conditions."