ST HELENS Council announced tonight that it is preparing to put its cold weather plan into action in readiness for a forecast of between two and five cm of snow.

It follows a severe weather warning from the Met office.

Forecasters say there is a 70per cent probability of severe cold weather/icy conditions/snow for the region between 6am on Saturday and 6am on Tuesday.

According to the council, the latest predictions are that St Helens could just miss the worst of the weather.

However, with predictions 70 per cent of the North West could be affected by sleet and snow, particularly on Monday, it can take no chances.

A statement read: “The council is prepared. It has seven gritting routes and nine gritters which can all be fitted with ploughs to keep main road traffic flowing.

"Its salt barn is full with around 2,500 tonnes of salt.

“Grit bins across the borough have all been filled.”