STAFFORDSHIRE’S army of gritters are ready for action – as winter officially starts in the county.
The winter season traditionally gets under way on the third Monday of October, so the county council’s fleet is now ready to roll when needed.
This year, five new gritters have been added to the fleet and more than 20,000 tonnes of salt stockpiled.
Temperatures and road conditions will be monitored from nine weather stations and the team of Winter Decision Makers will make the call as to when and where to send out the gritters.
On routine winter days and nights gritters will be focusing on the major routes and extending to the wider network in prolonged ice and snow conditions. You can find out more about where we grit and how we decide to grit at www.staffordshire.gov.uk/winter
Staffordshire County Council’s highways leader Mark Deaville said: “Over the last few weeks we have been putting the 40 plus strong army of gritters through their paces to ensure they are in tip top condition and ready to go when the bad weather hits.
“We never know what winter has in store, as we have even been known to have snow right up to Easter, so it is important to make sure we are well prepared so we can tackle whatever the weather has to throw at us.
“On a typical winter day we will be out largely on key A and B roads, but in prolonged ice or snow we will be pulling out all the stops to treat less major routes across the network.
“Of course, every winter is a partnership effort. Our crews play their part, our community Ice Busters do theirs by clearing local paths and we ask all drivers to play theirs as well.
“Regardless of whether a road has been gritted, motorists need to slow down, take extra care and allow more time for their journeys, as the most important thing is that we all get through winter safely.”
Staffordshire’s 40 plus gritters work out of five depots, where more than 20,000 tonnes of salt is stockpiled. Nine weather stations across the county give decision makers the accurate and up-to-date information they need.
The county’s hill contractors are also called into action on the higher ground in the Staffordshire Moorlands.
People can find out more about how the county prepares for winter at www.staffordshire.gov.uk/winter