Council explain ‘science’ behind gritting as more wintry weather forecast

Guardian News
Guardian News

WITH more wintry weather forecast for the coming week, Notts County Council is reassuring residents that it will be working hard to keep the county on the move.

And with some sources suggesting the winter weather could last for possibly another month, Coun Richard Jackson, chairman of the County Council’s transport and highways committee, has been explaining the ‘science’ behind gritting.

“Although it’s often called gritting, there is in fact little or no grit involved,” he said.

“What we actually spread on the roads is mined rock salt which is spread on the road in varying rates depending on how icy or snowy it is.”

“Gritting helps to make road surfaces safer but it can’t prevent frost appearing or snow falling. It’s also ineffective below minus 7C, but we still spread even at these temperatures so that it’s ready for when temperatures do rise.”

Notts County Council salts all A and B roads and main bus routes , which account for around 902 miles of roads - approximately a third of the county’s road network.

Each time it grits the roads the Council sends out 23 gritters across the county, each covering a route that takes them around three or four hours.

In addition, 11 other vehicles have been fitted with snow ploughs in readiness for heavy snow.

Coun Jackson reminded motorists that when it does snow, rock salt needs vehicles to drive over it in order for it to work effectively.

“Vehicles grind the salt into smaller particles to spread it across the road -- this means that grit is sometimes not effective when there isn’t much traffic or when there is a lot of snow,” he said.

“This is particularly the case when snow falls overnight, as it has done recently, when traffic is light.”

Where there has been heavy snow overnight, the County Council has brought in additional gritters in response to difficulties during the morning rush hour.