True grit!

[This gritter was caught in Saturday’s Walcot Street traffic!]

Around 500 tonnes of gritting salt is expected to have been spread through B&NES during the current period of severe cold weather. 

With the UK currently experiencing freezing temperatures, the council’s highways team has been gritting its priority routes to help keep motorists safe and traffic moving.

On average 58 gritting runs take place and 2,639 tonnes of salt, which helps prevent ice forming on road surfaces, are used by the council each year.

The council monitors specialist weather forecasts and data from its own weather stations to decide whether gritting is necessary, usually when road surface temperatures are forecasted to be close to or below zero. 

An additional 300 tonnes of gritting salt have already been ordered to replenish stocks for the coming months. The council has capacity to store up to 1,300 tonnes in dry storage at its Clutton depot. 

The council, which maintains 1,102km of highway, operates nine gritting vehicles with contractor VolkerHighways, which are deployed to prioritised highways like A roads, B roads, bus routes and roads which provide access to schools and hospitals. You can see a map of the council’s gritting routes here

Last winter the Highways team: 

  • Carried out 49 gritting runs
  • Used 1,859 tonnes of salt
  • Gritted 12,936 miles of highway

Councillor Kevin Guy, leader of the council, said: “Keeping our road network safe throughout winter is a priority for us. We’re advising residents to take all necessary steps to stay safe while driving in these conditions and to plan their journeys in advance. 

“Our gritting routes can be seen online and can be used to plan the safest route.”

Watch: ‘How we grit’