Gritting team get ready for a cold winter in Harborough

They were out on Wednesday (November 3) for the first time this season as winter starts to bite.

Friday, 5th November 2021, 11:56 am
Updated Friday, 5th November 2021, 11:58 am
Cllr Ozzy O’Shea in one of the council’s grit barns

Leicestershire County Council is gearing up to tackle icy nights and mornings in Harborough this winter as temperatures plunge.

The council has stockpiled an impressive 11,000 tonnes of salt in grit barns across the county - and more is to be delivered over the next few weeks.

The gritting team were out on Wednesday (November 3) for the first time this season as winter starts to bite.

Drivers are on standby every night at this time of year - ready to spread salt wherever there is a likelihood of frost, ice or snow affecting roads.

The salt is stored in grit barns in Market Harborough, Melton, Misterton, Mountsorrel and Nailstone, where gritters will roll out as they are needed to keep drivers moving on local roads.

The county council’s gritting lorries carried out 77 runs of its 17 routes, using a whopping 12,377 tonnes of salt to keep the roads safe, last year.

Special snow wardens are also based in communities to grit icy paths as well as farmers who often fit ploughs to their tractors to support council works teams clearing roads.

Cllr Ozzy O’Shea, the county council’s cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “We are well prepared to tackle the winter weather and will do all we can to minimise any potential disruption caused by snow, ice or frost.

“We monitor the weather constantly.

“And if freezing temperatures are forecast, our fleet of gritters are ready to treat major roads and key routes, which make up around 47 per cent of the county’s road network.”

Residents are also being encouraged to prepare themselves for the cold season by following these simple steps:

Familiarise yourself with the gritting routes and keep up to date with local weather using the local radio or following the council on Twitter @LeicsCountyHall

For more information on winter maintenance in Leicestershire, and for advice about winter driving and snow clearance of the paths outside your property, visit www.leicestershire.gov.uk/winter-weather

The county council has 23 gritters which spread about 200 tonnes (dependent on spread rates) of the specially treated rock salt and molasses mix each night, covering around 1,300 miles of highway each time they go out.

Gritter drivers are on standby every night and spread salt whenever there is a likelihood of frost, ice or snow affecting roads

A full gritting run covers 47 per cent of the county’s road network and takes between four and five hours

Footpaths are not gritted by the county council. But the 757 salt bins across the county can be used by members of the public to treat public roads or footpaths. Salt from these bins should not be used on private property.