Saturday, November 10, 2012
Highways bosses have insisted they are ready for winter, having stocked up on more than 18,000 tonnes of road salt to keep Norfolk’s roads gritted in the months ahead.
Following the first frosts of the season over the past couple of weeks, Norfolk County Council’s gritters have been out six times already, but leaders say they are well prepared for the return of ice and snow.
The council’s fleet of 63 gritters includes one new vehicle, and the summer restocking of seven salt storage domes and its strategic reserves at Swaffham is complete.
The authority says more than 18,000 tonnes of ‘Safecote’ treated road salt is ready for use when needed - enough for more than 50 treatments.
The council says it is also filling up grit bins around the county, and urged volunteers to do their bit to keep paths and pavements clear of ice and snow.
Graham Plant, cabinet Member for planning and transportation, said: “We already fill over 1,300 grit bins for public use, most sponsored by town and parish councils.
“Our gritting team will be in action whenever our forecasters warn that roads could freeze.
“Often the gritters are out in the early hours of the morning to ensure a safer and easier journey for tens of thousands of people going to work, school or making important deliveries - and of course for emergency services.
“In heavy snow we have to concentrate resources on the most important roads, and that is when volunteers can make such a difference in their local communities.
“There is nothing to stop individuals following their example by clearing snow and ice on paths and pavements outside their homes or businesses.”
In the coming winter, the county’s gritters will treat a priority network of just over 2,000 miles - about a third of the county road network - in less than three hours.
The council is also helping keep people informed about important winter services and advice during the colder months with its Norfolk Winter online campaign.
Last year the council and other organisations brought together winter information under the Norfolk Winter badge for the first time, with people being informed about gritting runs on the county’s roads, health advice and special support available to vulnerable people.
The council is also tagging relevant information on social media site Twitter with #norfolkwinter.
There is also information and links, including gritting routes, to help people cope during the colder months at www.norfolk.gov.uk/norfolkwinter