Highways England has prepared 93 new ‘state of the art gritters’ as part of a multi-million investment in winter maintenance delivery.
HE said the new gritters will improve safety for drivers and workers due to the vehicles’ improved technology, set up and enhanced visibility. They also treat the roads at a maximum of 50mph, 10mph faster than earlier models.
Highways England now has 535 gritters available which have all gone through a summer service, 127 depots based at strategic points across the network, 23 snow blowers which can remove up to 2,500 tonnes of snow per hour and will be storing over 280,000 tonnes of salt.
To monitor the weather around the clock Highways England has around 250 weather stations located across its 4,400 miles of motorways and major A roads. Overhead warning signs can also be used to inform motorists of severe weather.
Highways England’s winter fleet manager Jane Wilkins said: “The latest vehicles contain innovative technology which includes being able to pre-programme the gritters with information specific to each gritting route. This enables salt to be spread onto the road automatically, considering any specific requirements for bridges, landscape and other road features allowing drivers to give their full attention to driving at all times.