B&NES has taken delivery of nine new low-emission gritting lorries – fitted with the latest Euro VI OBD-D rated engines – to help keep roads safe and traffic moving across the district this winter.
The vehicles have improved safety measures and are ‘all-wheel drive’ as well as having a GPS controlled automatic spreading system.
All nine gritters have sophisticated mapping software – enabling the driver to cover any route in any vehicle, maximising the council’s flexibility to respond to bad weather.
On board weighing means the gritters can measure and carry the optimum amount of road salt required to be spread for forecast conditions which saves time, fuel and reduces emissions.
And their low level salt spreaders will ensure salt is spread effectively across the intended areas with minimal wind impact.
The machines also have improved ploughs – the new ploughs are able to remove more snow from the road surface reducing the risk posed by compacted snow and ice.
Councillor Neil Butters, joint cabinet member for Transport Services, said:“It’s essential we keep the road network safe and flowing during bad weather conditions. The council has invested in these new vehicles which are a big improvement on our previous fleet with reduced emissions and the ability to remove more snow from the roads.
“Working alongside our partner Volker Highways we have a very experienced team ready to deal with whatever conditions winter throws at us. Of course, a lot of the gritting work is carried out overnight as we do our utmost to keep roads safe and the road network running throughout the winter.”
In preparation for bad weather the council’s road salt storage facility has been topped up to capacity with 1,300 tonnes of salt. The 442 grit bins sited across the district for public use are also being refilled.
More than 38 per cent of the road network is treated by the council during freezing conditions – a total of 263 miles of highway which is more than the national average.
The gritting fleet can operate around the clock to ensure the maximum level of support is given to residential and business communities across the district.
Residents are being reminded that the council is unable to supply salt directly to the public and should not attempt to enter council highways depots for safety reasons.
During any severe winter weather, the council provides regular updates about the status of its services on www.twitter.com/bathnes
Residents can play their part in helping the council to manage the road network during severe weather by reporting any problems by calling: 01225 3934041, emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @ccbathnes
For more information, including a winter advice leaflet offering tips on dealing with severe winter weather on highways and pavements, and Government guidance on householders clearing snow and ice outside their home, go to www.bathnes.gov.uk/gritting