Nottinghamshire's gritting teams are gearing up for the winter

Nottinghamshire County Council's four salt barns are already full to the brim, giving it 12,000 tonnes more salt stockpiled than official government recommendations, putting Nottinghamshire in a strong position for dealing with the worst winter conditions.

Friday, 23rd December 2016, 2:39 pm
Updated Thursday, 29th December 2016, 3:12 pm

Operations will continue to take place from the four depots countywide at Gamston, Markham Moor, Newark and Bilsthorpe.

Nottinghamshire County Council says its gritters are in a strong position to deal with the winter months ahead.

Overall, the council has the capacity to store around 20,000 tonnes of salt – some 18,000 tonnes of it undercover.

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Gritting teams have been out a handful of times already this season when road temperatures have dropped towards or below freezing, and are out again tonight.

Garry Chadburn, Team Manager for Electrical and Environmental Maintenance, at Via East Midlands, said: “We are ready for winter – we have been resupplying our salt barns over the summer period with 20,000 tonnes in stock throughout the county. We have 31 gritters in our fleet and they have all been undergoing overhauls throughout the summer so they are all ready to go and it is business as usual.”

Councillor Kevin Greaves, Committee Chairman for Transport and Highways, at Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “We have been planning for winter all year round and we are in a strong position and ready for the months ahead. Some exciting new initiatives are also being introduced to help enhance our resources for this winter season.”

These measures include:

• Three new four-wheel drive gritting vehicles will increase resilience for coping in severe weather and will join the fleet on hilly terrain in Gedling, Broxtowe and Ashfield

• A new gritting route has been identified into Syerston village, including the A46 overbridge onto a severe weather route. This is the result of the recent completion of the new A46, which has seen some roads adjacent to the bridge widened, therefore giving a crucial turning point for vehicles

• A new weather station joins the countywide network on the A608 at Annesley Woodhouse – a key high spot in the west of Nottinghamshire, and features a roadside camera to monitor road surface conditions.

The fleet of 31 gritting lorries are all tracked by GPS technology, and there are two gritting tractor units and two towable gritting units which can also be used in severe weather. Dozens of volunteer snow wardens are on hand to assist in rural areas if the weather turns bad, and the county council’s Gritter Twitter alerts will keep people on social media informed of gritting operations.

Dave Tebbett, Head of Operations for Via East Midlands, said: “Here in Nottinghamshire we have set up Via East Midlands to deliver our highways services. It’s an innovative approach which has not been done as a joint venture anywhere else in the UK to deliver highways services.

“We feel this is something that other local authorities will be looking at, and we are happy to say that we are ahead of the game having done that here locally. It will be to the benefit of Nottinghamshire County Council and residents and the services we provide will be scrutinised to deliver best value for money.”

This video was taken at the Stephenson Way depot in Newark – one of four salt barns across the county.