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Gritting roads and pavements

During cold weather we receive three specific weather forecasts every day. The forecasts account for inland high ground, inland low ground and coastal areas.

We also maintain five remote weather stations at different locations across the county borough. These use equipment such as ice sensors to provide us with details including atmospheric conditions and local road surface temperatures.

We use this information to predict what the weather conditions are likely to be and if any further action is necessary.

Use of gritters

When it gets very cold, we use a number of specially designed vehicles such as gritters to keep roads clear and traffic moving. If icy conditions are expected we pretreat the most used parts of the road network with granulated rock salt to prevent frost and ice.

Road salting is dependent on a number of factors such as dampness and humidity.

It isn’t effective to lay salt down on top of fresh snow, so you won’t see a gritter doing this when snow is falling. The roads have to be cleared with ploughs before they can be treated. We have to be very careful about when and how roads are treated as salt is far less effective once temperatures fall below -10 degrees Celsius.

For pedestrian areas we use specialist equipment to spray brine, a saline solution which helps to melt ice. We also clear snow by hand and use snowblowers.

We maintain up to 4,500 tonnes of salt and plans are in place for replenishing stocks during prolonged bouts of severe winter weather. We also have collaborative arrangements in place with neighbouring authorities so that we can give and receive help as required.

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