Bath & North East Somerset Council Highways team has started its preparations for winter by stocking up on gritting salt and refilling grit bins.
More than 1,200 tonnes of salt has been procured and is already in dry storage at the council’s Clutton depot. All 434 of the council’s grit bins have also been checked and refilled.
On average 58 gritting runs take place and 2,639 tonnes of salt, which helps prevent ice forming on road surfaces, are used by the council each year.
A 1,000-tonne storage facility due next year in Keynsham as part of the new Keynsham Recycling Hub will increase the council’s capacity to 2,300 tonnes and limit the need to replenish stock mid-winter.
Councillor David Wood, cabinet member for Neighbourhood Services, said: “Keeping our road network safe throughout winter is a priority for us and we’ve already taken steps to make sure we have what we need. We carry out an average of 58 gritting runs on key routes each year and a lot of planning and preparation takes place to make sure we can have the biggest impact with the resources we have.”
The council maintains 1,102km of highway and each gritting run sees nine gritting vehicles deployed to prioritised highways like A roads, B roads, bus routes and roads which provide access to schools and hospitals. You can see a map of the council’s gritting routes here.
Last winter the Highway’s team:
- *Carried out 49 gritting runs
- *Used 1,859 tonnes of salt
- *Gritted 12,936 miles of highway
An additional full grit bin refill is planned during the winter thanks to funding secured through the Clean and Green campaign.
From October, the Highways team will closely monitor specialist forecasts and data from its own weather stations to identify when low temperatures and weather conditions pose a threat to road users and identify when a gritting run is needed. There are 18 specially trained drivers on stand-by to respond when required.
A ‘dry run’ will take place before the colder weather sinks in to make sure everything is ready.