New temperature-monitoring sensors are to be installed on more of Norfolk’s roads – to help save money by stopping some unnecessary gritting runs.
Norfolk County Council is to use the sensors, after studies showed thousands of pounds had been saved by not sending grit teams out to treat roads that were not cold enough to need treatment.
A pilot project saw low-cost road surface temperature sensors embedded in roads in Yarmouth in 2019.
The idea was that the sensors, combined with traditional forecasting methods, could determine whether roads could be treated less than currently, saving salt, fuel and driver time.
The council has said that has proved so successful that more sensors will be installed on other parts of the county’s road network.
Council officers said making decisions based on the sensors had saved around £132,000 over the last two winters.
The council says auto-salting, where grit trucks automatically release salt at the required rate was also on track to save up to £180,000 over the next three years.
The use of the technology was recognised in October 2022, when County Hall’s highways team won the national highways industry winter maintenance award.
Graham Plant, the council’s cabinet member for highways, infrastructure and transport, said: “I’m proud that our award-winning use of the latest tech is showing other parts of the country how to deliver a better and more efficient winter service.
“I’d like to thank the winter maintenance team and gritting crews for their dedication in keeping Norfolk moving each winter.”
Over the past six years, the average annual cost for delivering the winter service has been around £3.2m.
The county council treats 49 routes in Norfolk’s priority network, which includes the main A and B roads, as well as a number of local access C and unclassified roads.