Gritting teams ready to react when temperature drops

As winter fast approaches, Somerset County Council’s highways team are already monitoring weather forecasts each day ready to react when temperatures plummet.

This year the Council’s fleet of 23 gritters will again treat around 900 miles of road every time ice is expected, with 7,000 tonnes of salt stockpiled at depots across Somerset.

Cllr David Fothergill, Somerset County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways, said: “On dark winter nights, while the rest of us are usually tucked up somewhere nice and warm, our gritter drivers will be out braving the elements to keep our roads safe.

“As in previous years, we’ll be treating around 21 per cent of Somerset’s roads to help stop ice forming, but please take extra care in cold weather and always drive according to the road conditions.”

Somerset County Council monitors road surface temperatures every day and sends the gritters out when these are predicted to drop below zero and frost or ice is expected. Precautionary salting normally takes place in the evening or early morning but additional action may be required during extreme weather.

Rain can wash salt away and in very low temperatures salting may not be enough to prevent freezing.

Throughout the winter you can receive updates on gritting activity by following @somersetgritter on Twitter. You can also stay up to date with live traffic and travel conditions by following @TravelSomerset.

Find out which road are treated in our 2016/7 gritting map.

You can find photos of gritters, salting and winter maintenance work at https://www.flickr.com/photos/somersetcountycouncil/albums/72157663326851351

David Fothergill grit, gritting, gritter, winter, ice