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We’re ready for Winter

November 19, 2020 10:35 PM
By WC

Wiltshire Council's winter maintenance team are ready to keep the county's roads running.

After the end of every winter, council teams service 26 gritting vehicles, amend and test gritting routes, and develop closer working arrangements with parishes and other agencies.

The council has more than 13,000 tonnes of salt in stock strategically placed throughout the county in six storage sites. It also has weather stations that provide real-time information and assist in producing accurate forecasts to ensure gritters are sent out at the right time.

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 list of roads during prolonged cold weather.

During severe weather local farmers also have an important role to play, with many clearing snow in their areas when required.

During winter people can have updates on both the weather and road conditions on Twitter by following @WiltshireWinter and the main account @wiltscouncil.

As winter approaches, the council has also successfully implemented a salt bins recycling project, to keep its 1,600 salt bins throughout the county in good condition.

The project sees batches of damaged and old salt bins recycled to be used in other ways. The initial batch of 18 bins has already been cleaned for recycling, and the next batch, of 20 bins, is ready to go.

The council is also preparing another 25 bins for processing, meaning around 1.25 tonnes of plastic will be diverted from landfill.

You can report empty salt bins via the MyWilts online reporting - https://www.wiltshire.gov.uk/mywilts-online-reporting.

10 things to know about the gritting season:

  1. We have 26 gritters ready to treat our primary network - that is 25% of the county's roads including primary A and B roads, and 50% of the network in severe conditions
  1. The gritters will cover 726 miles from our strategically located depots, spreading 150 tonnes of salt each time they go out on the primary network
  1. Salt, not grit, is spread, and 13,000 tonnes is held in stock at the start of the winter season
  1. Weather stations are strategically placed around the county which give real time information and assist in producing accurate forecasts to ensure gritters are sent out at the right time
  1. A dedicated team of duty engineers monitor the weather 24/7 during the season supported by highways staff and a team of 24 drivers who are on standby throughout to be called into action at any time.
  1. 1,600 salt bins are being filled for use on local, lightly used roads and pavements.
  1. We have invested in six tractors which can assist in winter maintenance.
  1. Last year the council replaced its entire gritter fleet to ensure vehicles were of the highest standard.
  1. We have a dry run at the start of each winter season. During the run no salt is spread, but residents will see gritters out and about on the designated gritting network during the day as drivers familiarise themselves with the routes

10. The council works with local farmers and they can be called upon to help with tasks such as snow clearance.