It’s “All systems go” for Wiltshire Council’s winter maintenance team which has already been out 10 times, and is ready to keep the county’s roads running smoothly over the next few months..
The council has serviced its 24 gritting vehicles, amending and testing gritting routes, and developing closer working arrangements with parishes and other agencies.
Atiqul Hoque, portfolio holder for highways, has inspected the fleet and visited the weather control room, to ensure the systems are working.
He said: “We have a very dedicated team in highways who do an amazing job in difficult conditions, to ensure we are fully prepared for this coming winter.
“We can never predict how severe a winter will be, but the wealth of experience we have means we will be in the best position possible should bad weather hit the county.”
On average it can take up to 140 tonnes of salt to grit Wiltshire’s A and B class roads and 230 tonnes to salt an extended network during prolonged cold weather.
During severe weather, local farmers play an important role, with many clearing snow in their locality.
Updates on weather and road conditions are on Twitter: @WiltshireWinter and @WiltshireRoads
10 nitty-gritty facts:
- 24 gritters treat the primary network 25% of the county’s roads, and 50% of the network in severe conditions
- Gritters cover 726 miles from strategically-located depots, spreading 140 tonnes of salt each time on the primary network
- Salt, not grit, is spread, and 11,000 tonnes is in stock at the start of the winter season
- Weather stations around the county give real-time information and assist in producing accurate forecasts to ensure gritters are sent out at the right time
- A dedicated team of duty engineers monitor the weather 24/7 during the season supported by highways staff and 24 drivers on standby. Farmers and other specialist contractors are also on standby to help their communities with snow ploughing
- 1,600 salt bins are filled for use on local, lightly-used roads and pavements. Parish and town councils which have requested them have one-tonne bags of rock salt for community use
- Six tractors assist in winter maintenance
- Last winter, gritters went out 44 times
- 6,510 tonnes of salt were spread
- A dry run at the start of each winter but no salt is spread