We may still be enjoying mild autumn weather, but Warwickshire County Council’s highways team has been busy preparing for the coming winter.
In fact, preparations for the cold weather take place all year round!
At the end of each winter, the County’s gritting teams - which treat Warwickshire’s most used roads and the main routes into villages - start to prepare for the following winter. Preparation includes: reviewing performance data and learning from it, buying salt, maintaining vehicles and recruiting and training team members.
As autumn comes to an end, data from national and European forecasts and weather stations is used to build an accurate prediction of what is to come.
Cllr Wallace Redford, Warwickshire County Council Portfolio Holder for Transport and Highways said:
“Each winter, maintaining our road network in cold weather is a high priority. Working from five depots, our fantastic staff grit over 1,100 miles of road to make sure people can get to where they need to be with little disruption caused by the cold weather.
We have more than 1,200 grit bins across the County and we refill these throughout the winter. The grit bins allow people to take local action, whilst we concentrate our resources where we can have the biggest impact.”
When data shows ice or snow is predicted, gritting teams are alerted and teams decide when to start gritting, making sure the right amount of salt is used at the right time.
Last winter season, Warwickshire’s gritting service:
- Carried out 53 gritting runs.
- Covered 58,300 miles - equivalent of approximately 2.3 times around the circumference of the earth.
- Used approximately 9,692 tonnes of salt - equivalent to 346 lorry loads and below the seasonal average of 12,000 tonnes - reflective of a warmer than average season.
The County’s Fleet Maintenance Service keeps 35 gritting vehicles on the road - 29 front line vehicles and 6 reserves. There are five dedicated depots for the gritting fleet - one in each geographical area of the county, six weather stations and even a dedicated winter roads weather forecaster to help decide when there will be a need to grit.
For more information about how Transport and Highways in Warwickshire, visit: https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/roads-transport