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Gritters ready for winter weather

Crews called into action to keep roads moving

This year, grit barns are stocked up with 18,500 tonnes of rock salt
We have been preparing for winter throughout the summer. Pictured is Tom Vesty, highway works manager

Gritters took to Leicestershire roads for the first time this autumn as temperatures plummeted.

On Friday, 26 October, our gritters and drivers went out treating key routes to keep the county moving.

Crews have been out a further three times, spreading approximately 700 tonnes of rock salt across around 5,000 miles of road to combat the drop in temperature, and will continue to do so as required.

With the nights getting longer and the temperatures dropping, the gritters will be needed more often and we are prepared.

This year, grit barns are stocked up with 18,500 tonnes of rock salt – ready to tackle snow and ice, while three new state-of-the-art gritters will be joining the fleet this winter.

 

We’ve been preparing to tackle the winter season since the summer and are keen to minimise any potential disruption.

“Last winter was one of the most severe on record. While our team provided an excellent service - and were called out 109 times, spreading more than 20,000 tonnes of salt - we are not going to rest on our laurels and have made improvements. 

“We monitor the weather constantly and if freezing temperatures are forecast, our fleet of gritters will be ready to treat major roads and key routes, which equate to almost half of the county's road network.

 

In addition to the gritters, there are also a number of snow wardens based in communities across the county who grit paths, as well as farmers who during deep snow, fit ploughs to their tractors and help to clear the roads.

We are working with parish and town councils to encourage more people to sign-up to our Snow Warden Scheme and help keep the county moving during the winter.

There is also a team of carers and health visitors who can reach their patients if there is prolonged heavy snowfall.

Residents are also being encouraged to prepare themselves for the cold season by following a few simple steps:

  • Familiarise yourself with the gritting routes and keep up to date with local weather using the local radio or following the council on Twitter;
  • Make sure you have your seasonal flu vaccination. Washing your hands will help avoid transmitting cold and flu viruses. Free vaccines are offered to people considered to be at risk of flu, more information can be found by visiting www.nhs.uk/staywell/
  • Keep your home warm. Set the timer on your heating to come on before you get up and switch off when you go to bed. Our Warm Homes service helps vulnerable people to save hundreds of pounds on their fuel bills, for advice visit www.firstcontactplus.org.uk or call 0116 305 4286.

For more information on winter maintenance in Leicestershire, and for advice about winter driving and snow clearance of the paths outside your property, visit www.leicestershire.gov.uk/gritting or follow the council on Twitter @LeicsCountyHall

COUNTY COUNCIL GRITTING FACTS

  • A full gritting run covers 47 per cent of the city’s road network (1,300 miles) and takes between four and five hours;
  • Footpaths are not routinely gritted by the county council;
  • The 782 grit bins across the county can be used by members of the public to treat public roads or footpaths – salt from these bins should not be used on private property;
  • Gritter drivers are on standby every night and spread salt whenever there is a likelihood of frost, ice or snow affecting roads
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