As the Met Office issues a severe weather warning for snow and ice in Derbyshire next week, motorists are being warned to make sure their vehicles are ready for the bitterly-cold conditions.
The county council has already used more than 9,000 tonnes of grit so far this winter, from its 20,000 tonnes stored in salt barns which are being constantly replenished.
Councillor John Cottee, Committee Chairman for Communities and Place, who recently went out on a gritter run from the Gamston depot, one of the four County depots where salt is distributed from, said: “Our gritting teams are doing a sterling job in freezing conditions. I have seen for myself the amount of preparations which take place before every gritting run.
“Every time our teams go out to salt our main gritting route, around 2,500 kilometres are travelled.
“Since the first gritting run of the season back in November our teams will have travelled almost 200,000 kilometres to salt main routes and severe snow routes where necessary, which is the equivalent of making 147 trips to Paris and back again.”
Nottinghamshire County Council has issued the following advice for motorists driving in wintery conditions:
* should have a legal minimum tread depth of 1.6mm over the central three-quarters of the tyre
* the recommended minimum tread is 3mm
* check them regularly for damage – bulges, cracks, slow punctures
* check your tyre pressure meets the level recommended for winter conditions.
* anti-freeze should be changed at least every two years as part of your service
* you need a 50-50 mix of anti-freeze and water
* ensure that you add screen wash to your washer bottle and top it up regularly
* don’t add anti-freeze to your windscreen washer bottle – it is corrosive and will damage paintwork.
* the average life of a battery is five years
* l remember that during winter months the battery will drain more quickly with the additional use of electrical items such as heaters, lights and heated rear windscreen.
Inside the car
Make sure you’re ready for winter by preparing an emergency kit containing the following:
* ice scraper
* torch & spare batteries
* warm clothes & blanket
* boots or sturdy footwear
* first aid kit
* sunglasses, in case of dazzle from reflected sunlight or sun low in the sky
* road atlas and/or sat nav
* personal medication
* for longer journeys or during severe weather you should also carry jump leads, mobile phone charger, shovel, food and warm drink and a reflective warning sign.