Another busy winter for highways teams

Now that spring has finally sprung, Somerset County Council’s gritting teams are standing down after another busy winter.

The Council’s fleet of 23 gritters were needed on 71 occasions when cold weather was forecast, pre-treating around 900 miles of the highways network each time to help prevent ice forming. That’s about average and compares with 61 actions in 2013/14 and 96 in 2012/13.

Gritting infographic

January was the coldest month with the team called out 27 times. They were also called out on three occasions in November, 16 times in December, 18 times in February and seven times in March.

Highways staff also helped clear snow from higher ground on five occasions through increased salting and ploughing, although this year it was not necessary to call on the Council’s back-up network of farmers and agricultural contractors.

And it wasn’t just cold weather causing problems – severe storms also created additional work for highways staff. They received 36 wind and weather-related emergency callouts overnight on 14/15 January, and a further 27 callouts on the night of 30/31 March, mostly responding to fallen trees or other debris in the road.

For more information about the Council’s winter maintenance programme, please visit If you spot a problem on the road you can call 0300 123 2224 or report online at