Stoke-on-Trent City Council’s fleet of gritters and crews are officially on standby 24 hours a day for the next five months to deal with winter weather.
Residents can now check which routes are being gritted in real-time after the council’s seven gritters were fitted with GPS devices. The interactive map will show the location of gritting trucks in the city, the routes they have taken and the location of grit bins for residents to use on roads and footpaths.
The council has more than 3,000 tonnes of salt in stock, and more is held on order at the mines to be drawn in as and when it is needed. Approximately 210 miles of the city’s main roads are treated on seven routes each time the gritters are called out – which includes all major roads, main bus routes, and access roads for emergency services.
Last year the crews were called out 62 times whenever road surface temperatures were forecast to be at risk of ice forming or snow falling. Each callout takes between three to four hours to complete, and between 32 and 42 tonnes of salt is used each time. Supporting the drivers is a team of decision-makers trained to review the latest weather predictions from forecasters before deciding what action to take.
Councillor Daniel Jellyman, cabinet member for regeneration, infrastructure and heritage, said: “Our gritting teams are now on full-time standby, ready to respond to whatever winter throws our way. They work tirelessly to keep the city moving and make sure our roads are safe to travel on, often in treacherous conditions and while many of us are still in our beds, so please feel free to give them a friendly wave if you see them out and about.
“We often get asked on social media where and when we grit, so this year for the first time residents can go on our website and see what is happening almost in real time. It’s another really useful tool to help us communicate with the public and will keep people informed of which roads have been treated in the event of snow and ice. In the same way we have made preparations for winter, I would encourage motorists to make sure they are also ready by getting their vehicles checked, planning journeys and carrying a winter kit in their car, including an ice scraper and de-icer, winter clothes and blankets.”
The interactive map can be viewed here.
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