Cumbria County Council’s gritters have sprung into action, treating a number of routes on the county’s road network for the first time this winter.
With Cumbria experiencing the first cold snap of winter, the council’s gritting teams treated a series of priority routes across the county on Saturday and Sunday, and this work was repeated as temperatures plummeted again on Monday and today (Tuesday).
The county council is all geared up to keep the county on the move throughout the coming winter, with 24,000 tonnes of salt stockpiled to treat roads and a 33-strong fleet of gritters ready to roll.
With the gritting ‘season’ now in full swing, the council is closely monitoring road temperatures and weather conditions to make daily decisions on which, if any roads need to be gritted.
The council has a budget of £3.7m set aside to fund the highways winter maintenance service and will be routinely treating around 2,400km of highway, covering about one-third of the whole network.
Councillor Keith Little, Cumbria County Council Cabinet member for Highways and Transport, said: “The council’s gritting staff play a vital role in helping to keep the county moving during winter, often working around the clock in extreme weather conditions to ensure Cumbria stays connected. I know the service is very much appreciated by our residents and we’re well prepared for another challenging winter ahead.”
The council is investing in an additional three new roadside weather stations in the west of the county this year, to further enhance weather assessments and decision-making on when to treat the network
Sat-nav technology is being trialled in some gritters, providing the service with increased resilience, flexibility and safety.
The council’s gritting service operates night and day to ensure drivers and other road users can stay on the move throughout winter. Priority 1 routes, which include many main roads across the county, are treated in less than three hours during freezing conditions. Priority 2 routes, which include A, B and C roads, will be treated in five hours.
The council is continuing to recruit volunteer snow champions who help keep agreed lengths of footways clear of snow in local communities. Anyone interested in becoming a snow champion can call the Highways Hotline on 0300 303 2992.
Latest information about which routes will be treated during periods of snow and frosty weather can be found online at cumbria.gov.uk/gritting