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Wiltshire Council – Ready for Winter

Wiltshire Council – Ready for Winter

“We are ready to go” is the message from Wiltshire Council’s winter maintenance team as preparations are complete to keep the county’s roads running smoothly over the next few months.   Since the end of last winter, the council has been servicing its 24 gritting vehicles, amending and testing gritting routes, and developing closer working arrangements with parishes and other agencies.   The council has 14,000 tonnes of salt in stock strategically placed throughout the county in eight storage sites. There are also weather stations in key areas which provide real time information and assist in producing accurate forecasts to ensure gritters are sent out at the right time.   Philip Whitehead, cabinet member for highways, said: “We have a dedicated team doing an amazing job in very difficult conditions, and we are fully prepared for this coming winter.   “We can, of course, never predict how severe a winter will be, but the wealth of experience we have means we will be in the best position possible should bad weather hit the county.”   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 network during prolonged cold weather.   During severe weather local farmers also have an important role to play, with many clearing snow in their local areas when required.   The council also has a scheme where interested parish and town councils can arrange for delivery of a one tonne bag of salt. It will be delivered to an appropriate location within their parish, and then can be distributed as they wish. Many town and parish councils also have a snow warden and the council can give advance notice to them about severe weather. In addition, salt is supplied to many schools to maintain the car parks and keep their facilities open.   During winter people can have updates on both the weather and road conditions on Twitter by following @WiltshireWinter and @WiltshireRoads -Ends-   Notes to editors For more information contact communications on 01225 713370/713115/713116. For out of hours contact 07747 007340 10 things to know about the gritting season: 1. We have 24 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 2. 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 3. Salt, not grit, is spread, and 14,000 tonnes is held in stock at the start of the winter season 4. 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 5. 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. Farmers and other specialist contractors are also on standby to help their communities with snow ploughing 6. 1,600 salt bins are being filled for use on local, lightly used roads and pavements. Parish and town councils which have requested them have also been given 1 tonne bags of rock salt for community use 7. We have invested in six new tractors which can assist in winter maintenance 8. Last winter the gritters went out 35 times 9. 5,260 tonnes of salt were spread on Wiltshire’s roads last season (2015/16) 10. 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


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