This month Gloucestershire County Council’s winter highways operations are officially kicking into action despite the unseasonably warm weather.
Every year a fleet of 29 gritting vehicles which this year include 22 brand new gritters, are on standby to respond to subzero temperatures when they arrive.
Earlier this month all the gritters carried out a test-run of the county’s primary gritting routes to ensure all our drivers and fleet are ready for when temperatures drop.
The routes gritted follow national guidance that prioritise A and B roads as well as routes to main hospitals, ambulance, police and fire stations, key public transport routes and most secondary schools. The routes cover approximately 28% of Gloucestershire’s total roads with details available on the county council’s website.
More than 11,000 tonnes of salt are stored at Gloucestershire’s highways depots and engineers are on standby 24/7 to carry out urgent gritting or ploughing. The rock salt must be applied before ice has formed, so temperatures are monitored closely. Road surface temperatures are predicted using 11 weather stations across the county.
The county council have topped up close to 5,000 on-street grit bins to be used by residents and communities for treating pavements and smaller roads where gritters can’t reach or areas with limited traffic. The grit from these bins is for use on public highways, when safe to do so, and only a small amount is needed to be effective. The council is also trialing a new machine to treat cycleways.
Throughout the winter the council’s road resurfacing works will continue at pace. Following a busy Summer of Resurfacing, a programme of innovative repair methods continues with record numbers of repairs being made to the roads.
Cllr Dom Morris, cabinet member responsible for highways and flooding at Gloucestershire County Council, said “All winter we continue our road resurfacing programme; we’ve increased our target with more than 180 roads set to be resurfaced this year. Highways are ready to take action to deal with whatever the weather throws at us. At night, teams are out resurfacing and gritting. During the day they carry out inspections and repairs. We are working around the clock to improve your roads and keep Gloucestershire moving.”