South Gloucestershire Council’s state-of-the-art fleet of new snow ploughs are being readied for the first serious snowfall of the winter.
With weather forecasts showing an increased likelihood of snow through Saturday night and Sunday morning, the council’s winter maintenance team are preparing for all-night operation on Saturday night to grit the district’s roads and plough where snow settles.
Head of Street Care Mark King will be among the team behind the wheel of a snowplough on Saturday night. He said:
“The vehicles have already been out regularly this winter to salt South Gloucestershire’s roads and keep our highways safe and clear of ice.”
“However this will be the first time we have used the vehicles to deal with snow and the winter maintenance team have been working hard to ready the ploughs for a busy weekend.”
“The procedure we follow is to pre-salt roads as soon as icy conditions are forecast, and then return to plough if the snow begins to settle. At the same time, we re-salt the roads to make sure that they remain safe.”
The eleven new vehicles, each of which has been named by primary school children from the district, replaced the council’s ageing gritting fleet last autumn. The vehicles are on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week throughout the winter months, to keep schools open, businesses running and emergency services on the road.
South Gloucestershire has one of the highest-performing gritting services in the region and recently won an Association of Public Service Excellence award in recognition of its efficient operation.
The winter maintenance team treat approximately 14,000 miles of South Gloucestershire’s roads each year, and the new vehicles use state-of-the-art technology to ensure fast and effective gritting coupled with lower fuel consumption and carbon emissions, and more effective use of road salt.
More than 6,000 tonnes of salt – enough for an entire winter’s gritting in South Gloucestershire and sufficient to cover more than 40,000 miles of roads – are currently held in storage and the winter maintenance team uses a sophisticated forecasting system to anticipate weather conditions and plan salt runs.
Source: South Gloucestershire Council