Essex: County council has 15,000 tonnes of salt in preparation for winter
- Credit: Archant
County council bosses have revealed Essex is ready for the start of the winter season – with 15,000 tonnes of salt available and a fleet of 63 gritting lorries in standby around the clock.
Essex County Council is required to focus its gritting resources on keeping major roads clear, so it runs a precautionary salting network.
It includes all A and B roads, access routes for emergency services, rural link roads and major public transport routes.
Rodney Bass, cabinet member for highways and transportation, said: “Keeping our roads safe throughout winter is always one of our top priorities. We have 15,000 tonnes of salt available in out depots and 63 gritting vehicles in standby, so we are ready to deal with severe weather if it arrives.
“Our winter salt bag partnership is back this year to assist local communities, and residents can keep up to speed with live tracking and Twitter alerts.”
The county council’s winter salt bag partnership gives greater control to communities.
A total of 186 parish and town councils and 17 county councillors have signed up to the scheme and will be organising their own team of winter volunteers to clear snow and salt areas of local concern.
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Each council will receive one tonne of salt for use in their neighbourhood.
All salt bins owned the Essex County Council are being filled for the start of winter and are to be used sparingly on the highway, and should not be used at private addresses.
However Mr Bass said he cannot guarantee that bins will be refilled during the winter as resources have to be priorities towards the main network.
Mr Bass added: “Salt is, however, no panacea.
“In difficult winter weather conditions everyone should exercise greater care.
“Motorists should slow down, allow more time for journeys, ensure that their vehicles are properly equipped for winter driving and leave longer distances between their vehicles and the one in front.”
People across the county can keep up to speed with the Essex gritting lorries online with a live tracking system.
Each gritter has been fitted with a GPS tracker which allows their movements to be tracked in real-time on a map via www.essex.gov.uk/highways and let people find out which roads have been salted.
Information will also be available via Twitter on @Essex_Travel while winter advice on safe driving, vehicle preparation and clearing snow from pavements and driveways can be found at www.essex.gov.uk/winter