Cheshire East Council’s highways teams are all geared up for winter with gritters on standby and thousands of tonnes of salt stockpiled.
Its highways teams are well prepared for any adverse weather conditions this coming winter, with a fleet of 20 gritters ready to swing into action around the clock and more than 5,200 tonnes of salt stored, said the council.
The council has 17 gritting routes for treatment, including an additional 2.5 miles (4km) of roads this winter. Treatment is carried out when there is a clear probability for icy conditions, when road surface temperatures are predicted to fall below 1C.
Councillor Craig Browne, Cheshire East Council deputy leader and chair of the council’s highways and transport committee, said: “Despite the downward financial pressures on the council and the highways service, we have an excellent team of people who are on standby ready to grit our roads whenever the need arises.
“Unfortunately, not every road in the borough can be treated and I urge residents and motorists to take extra care, to drive within the conditions, or to only make necessary journeys, especially when there have been exceptionally low temperatures, causing our roads to become icy.
“Our gritting schedule of routes are delivered in accordance with our policy, taking into consideration the category and use of roads, the level of risk and whether they serve local amenities. Further considerations include some bus routes, access to hospitals and topography. All routes are scored and ranked according to assessment criteria.
“Residents who are not on a gritting route can request a grit bin or have their existing one topped up. These are for gritting roads and public footways, NOT for private driveways, and they are only topped up once unless there is a prolonged period of severe weather. There are around 500 grit bins around the borough, containing a mix of salt and sand, which the public can use on roads or footways.”
The Cheshire East Council website carries detailed information about gritting routes for this winter, together with advice on what to do in the event of severe winter weather, and how to drive and stay safe in icy conditions.
Councillor Browne added: “While we are focusing on anticipated snow and icy road conditions, we should not overlook the prospect of severe storms, and the recent weather events in other parts of the country remind us that we must respond quickly to changing weather patterns.
“Again, our highways teams will be prepared for events of storms and severe flooding, working with the emergency services, the Environment Agency and other agencies, to try to minimise the impact on our residents.”