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Gloucestershire gets ready for winter

| 03.11.15

Gloucestershire County Council and their partners Amey are preparing to keep the county’s roads running this winter.

With temperatures already dropping, highway crews are readying themselves for the winter months and worsening weather.

Plans are in place to grit all major routes when the winter weather arrives, including roads leading to emergency services such as hospitals and fire stations, as well as many of the most frequent bus routes.

Gloucestershire has just over 12,000 tonnes of salt in store, treble the amount held six years ago, with covered salt domes based in Stroudwater, Cannop, Moreton and Cirencester.

Local snow plough operators and snow wardens are in place in our communities to help clear snow off local roads so that the county council’s crews can concentrate on keeping the main roads open.

There are over 100 salt hand-spreaders out with the communities ready for the colder spells and the county council is in the process of delivering 1,500 bags of salt to local parish councils for this coming winter season.

Cllr Vernon Smith, cabinet member for highways, said, “With winter on its way, we have been working hard to make sure we are prepared to keep our roads open during the colder times.

“Since April we’ve made significant investment in road improvements, as well as making sure we have the right resources available to our teams so that they can keep the roads running smoothly this winter.”

As part of the council’s road network improvement scheme, this summer has seen the highways department carry out repairs to over 194km of the county’s roads. Around 131,000 tonnes of new material was laid, which is equivalent to over 700 blue whales. This has been used to make over 50 miles worth of surface dressing, and a further six miles of micro dressing.

As well as planned resurfacing, surface dressing and patching over the summer, more than 30,000 potholes have been filled since April, and more than 4,350 miles of grass verges have been cut to make sure drivers can see safely at junctions and roundabouts.

In addition, highway crews visited more than 69,000 gullies, carrying out maintenance so that water can freely drain away from roads and footpaths, helping to prevent future flooding.

Ruth Kinsella, Account Director for Amey in Gloucestershire, said: “Our highways team has been busy preparing for winter, even during the summer months when we’re completing maintenance and improvements to the local roads.

“All of our vehicles and snow ploughs have undergone their annual service and maintenance checks, and we’ve completed test runs of each of the gritting routes.

“We’ve also run an in-house training programme for our drivers to familiarise themselves again with the vehicles and routes, and trained up additional drivers for this winter to offer more resilience when the weather starts to turn colder.”

For more information on the county council’s winter plan, please visit http://www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/winter

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