Cambridgeshire County Council’s gritting teams have for the first time carried out 100 runs during a single winter season and they look set to be kept busy as the cold weather continues.
A fleet of 39 specialist gritters – four of them newly acquired for this season - and their team of around 100 highly trained drivers – are on call 24/7 ready to hit the road loaded with some of the 10,000 plus tonnes of salt which is stockpiled at depots around the county.
The run tonight at 7pm will be the 100th time this winter that the fleet has been called into action to keep Cambridgeshire highways safe and secure and traffic on the move – the first time the run rate has hit the century mark.
Gritting runs are triggered automatically by sophisticated weather monitoring equipment which alerts Highways chiefs when temperatures are expected to fall below freezing – on some occasions the fleet will carry out as many as three runs within a 24 hour period when weather conditions and temperatures are particularly bad.
In addition specialist brine spraying equipment mounted on two four-wheel drive quad bikes will again be available to treat harder to reach foot and cycle paths in Cambridge and backpack sprayers will be used to ‘spot’ treat other areas as necessary, including 11 foot and cycle bridges in Cambridge.
Treatment runs cover a network of primary routes across Cambridgeshire designed to keep commuter and passenger transport traffic flowing with secondary routes covered when resources allow.
Salt bins, which are kept stocked by the County Council, are also available to local parishes and the county council works in partnership with the district councils to try to ensure maximum treatment of winter-weather affected areas.
For safe winter driving advice, go to: http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/TravelAndTransport/Usingmotorwaysandroads/Breakdownsdrivingconditions/DG_185021