Gritters ready to roll as cold weather looms

Blackpool's fleet of gritting machines are primed for action with November set to end with a freezing finale.

Tuesday, 29th November 2016, 6:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 6th December 2016, 3:41 pm
The mercury was set to plunge last night

Despite a mild start to the winter, the council’s four gritters have already been out four times spreading up to 120 tonnes of rock salt on the borough’s roads.

The Met Office forecasts cold conditions for the next few days with freezing spells.

Despite sunshine it will be very cold, forecasters said yesterday.

Coun Fred Jackson

But council chiefs say they are well prepared to keep roads open and safe, using a stockpile of more than 600 tonnes of grit.

Coun Fred Jackson, cabinet member for highways, said: “We are well prepared again ahead of this winter, the service is ready now and on standby until the April.

“As the winter weather arrives, we regularly monitor the weather forecasts and temperature predictions to make an informed decision on whether to go out gritting or not.

“We remind residents to be prepared and take care when driving in wintry conditions, and please be patient with gritters out on our roads.

Coun Fred Jackson

“Residents can stay notified when we choose to grit by following the Council’s Facebook and Twitter page.”

Lancashire County Council’s 49-strong fleet of gritters covers more than 1,500 miles of road on every run and keeps more than 30,000 tonnes of salt in stock throughout the winter.

Roads are gritted 25-tmes-a year

• The Council has four gritting machines.

• The majority of gritting takes place overnight.

• On average the roads are gritted 25 times a year. However in winter of 2012 the team went out almost 50 times.

• The amount of rock salt used each year varies depending on the weather conditions.

• During the Christmas of 2009, more than 1,300 tonnes were used whereas as 2013 was unusually mild when the team only went out nine times using 100 tonnes.