Grit restocking under way so Notts teams have 17,000 tonnes ready for winter
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The restocking of 17,000 tonnes of grit is under way as Nottinghamshire Council prepares to put its teams on standby for another winter of gritting.
The authority’s gritting lorries will take to the county’s roads again from the start of November.
And in preparation for the winter months, work is under way to ensure communities are protected and have enough rock salt to keep their pavements safe.
The Conservative-led authority has confirmed its winter plan is ready to go as gritting teams prepare to take to the roads in just two weeks’ time.
Papers confirm restocking of grit began in July to avoid supply issues, with about 14,000t of the material already stored in various locations across the county.
Full restocking, which will require the council to have 17,000t, ‘will be complete prior to the commencement of the winter maintenance season’, the authority adds.
However, the council says it only needs to have 10,000t of grit to cover the county’s roads throughout the winter.
“Highway authorities should hold sufficient salt stocks at the beginning of the winter season to deliver 12 days or 48 gritting ‘runs’,” Martin Carnaffin, contract manager for highways, says in a report.
“For Nottinghamshire, this equates to 10,000t. As a consequence, the council is in an excellent position to respond, operate and maintain around-the-clock treatment in severe weather conditions.
“Salt supplies will be replenished over the winter period as required.”
Arrangements for parish and district councils to be supplied with rock salt are ongoing, helping to fill grit bins countywide.
Gritting instructions and shift patterns will be issued after 8pm each night when the weather forecast is verified by the county’s main weather stations.
Ice prediction software will also be used to show expected surface temperatures and road conditions, giving a better idea of which areas to prioritise.
Gritting teams work on night shifts and are on standby until the end of March, with the authority saying this provides a ‘guaranteed flexible response to differing weather conditions’.
There is a fleet of 30 gritting lorries covering 23 routes across the 1,700 kilometres of roads in the county, while there are also 1,407 stocked grit bins located across Nottinghamshire in the event of localised snow and ice.
A budget of £608,000 has been allocated for the upcoming winter maintenance programme.
Coun Neil Clarke, portfolio holder for transport and environment, approved the funding.
Speaking last year, he said: “We cannot predict what kind of winter we will face.
“However, by ensuring preparations continue all year round, we are in a good position should adverse weather arrive in Nottinghamshire.
“[For] our gritting teams, full-time standby duties … will often mean being out at night treating the 1,712km of roads which make up our 23 gritting routes while we are at home with our families.
“Over the coming months you will likely see our teams in your area, and I ask that when you see them, you give a thought to the excellent work they do to protect us all from the winter conditions.”