Guest column: County Council is ready and prepared for winter

Coun John Cottee, chairman of the communities and place committee at Nottinghamshire County Council. Picture: Marlow Photographic
Coun John Cottee, chairman of the communities and place committee at Nottinghamshire County Council. Picture: Marlow Photographic

Now the clocks have gone back, it’s a good time to get ready for winter.

Winter maintenance is a high priority for us at Nottinghamshire County Council, so behind the scenes we have been planning for winter all year round so we are in a strong position and ready for whatever the winter brings

The 30-strong gritting fleet is on full 24-hour standby should the road temperature forecast be a zero degrees or lower, or if Met Office forecasts suggest moisture will be present to form ice.

All of the gritting lorries in the county’s fleet are equipped with a CCTV system, to help monitor road surface conditions as well as being tracked by GPS technology.

I recently visited Bilsthorpe, which is one of the four county-wide depots where winter maintenance operations are based.

There are three new gritting vehicles located there to help increase resilience for coping in the event of severe weather.

Roadside weather stations at Perlethorpe and Coxmoor have been recently refurbished and upgraded, including replacing sensors and installing new CCTV cameras to improve the quality of weather forecasting information and to help monitor road surface conditions.

The council’s salt barns are also already well-stocked.

In fact the county has 10,000 tonnes more salt stockpiled than official Government recommendations.

This puts Nottinghamshire in an excellent position should it face the worst winter conditions.

The council’s new winter website is now live and is full of advice and information on staying safe and well during colder spells.

It’s worth taking a look as it has everything from gritting updates, weather forecasts and winter driving advice.

As it’s now getting noticeably darker earlier on the evenings, now is the time to be more visible to other road users during the dark winter nights (and days) ahead, whether you are a pedestrian, cyclists or motorists.

And as schools tend to close around dusk time, it’s a good idea for children to wear fluorescent or bright clothing in the daytime and reflective material at night as research shows this makes them five times more visible to drivers.

More details are available at www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/winter.

And you can follow gritting updates on Twitter at @NottsCC