Road crews in Gloucestershire on winter standby as weekend storms approach
WINTER might still feel some way off with all the wet weather Gloucestershire has seen this week, but highway crews have now gone onto official winter standby.
From tonight, the 82 road workers and 33 gritting vehicles that make up the county’s winter response team go into around the clock winter alert mode.
And with storm warnings issued for Wales and southern England on Monday, crews are prepared to deal with any emergency weather response required over the next week.
When the cold weather does hit, teams will spread salt over 1,000 miles of the county’s roads on every run to help keep the county moving in wintry weather.
Last year they completed an average of 90 gritting runs, which meant between them they travelled a staggering 90,000 miles – almost enough to travel four times around the equator of the earth.
Teams have already completed test runs, inspected winter maintenance equipment and been briefed on this year’s winter response plans.
When winter weather hits they are prepared to treat all primary routes – which includes all A, B and some C roads and routes to emergency services like hospitals and fire stations as well as most frequent bus routes.
This year the county is starting winter with 12,600 of salt following the opening of a new salt dome in Cirencester.
In total there are 418 snow warden and snow plough volunteers right across Gloucestershire who inform the county council of conditions in outlying rural areas and help clear roads of snow.
The county council has this year delivered an additional 18 salt hand spreaders and over 5,600 bags of salt to local town and parish councils so local communities can treat local pavements and problem areas.
Road crews have also been out across the county filling up grit bins in rural or problem areas, like steep hills or bends, so neighbourhoods can treat them themselves.
Vernon Smith, Cabinet member for roads and flood said, “Our road crews are the first line of defence in winter weather, and they put in tremendous effort battling against the elements around the clock to keep the county moving.”
“Gloucestershire County Council is prepared for winter, and you should be getting prepared too. When the weather turns cold please drive safely and look out for each other.”
This weekend's weather front is sweeping in from the Gulf of Mexico and across the Atlantic and is forecast to hit the South West some time on Sunday or in the early hours of Monday.
A severe weather warning has been issued across the region for both days and the Environment Agency has also warned of flooding in the South West early next week.
Further information on the county’s winter response is also available at www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/winter
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