Cheshire East Highways is fully equipped to cope as winter weather begins to take hold.
Duty officers receive detailed weather reports around the clock during the winter months and then decide whether to dispatch vehicles and crews suited to the conditions.
Residents can track gritting vehicles as they treat local routes by clicking on the winter service link at www.cheshireeasthighways.org. The latest information is also posted on Twitter @CECHighways.
Councillor David Topping, Cabinet member for service commissioning, said: “I want to reassure residents that we are well equipped to deal with snow and ice in the weeks and months ahead.
“We will be continually monitoring the weather throughout the winter months and gritting vehicles can be dispatched quickly if conditions begin to deteriorate. We aim to provide as much information as possible in the event of severe weather conditions.
“We treat a total of 1,085 km of primary roads (40 per cent of the Borough’s road network) when ice or frosty conditions are forecast. However, no guarantee can be given that roads will always be completely clear of ice or snow.”
During snowy conditions, Cheshire East Highways will also deploy snow blowers,
all-terrain quad bikes with attachable snow ploughs and towable gritters for footways and roads with restricted access.
Cheshire East Highways’ preparations for winter
• There are 17 primary gritting routes and a gritting fleet of 17 serviced and tested frontline gritters with trained drivers;
• Nine gritters load directly from the mine with eight more operating from our northern depot;
• Approximately 10,000 tonnes of rock salt is used for treating the highway network in an average winter;
• We treat a total of 1,085 km of primary roads (40 per cent of the Borough’s road network) when ice or frosty conditions are forecast;
• A normal gritting route takes approximately four hours, when treating the network for a forecast of ice and hoar frost. The aim is to complete all these routes before 7am; (This of course depends on the forecast. For instance, rain could delay treatment)
• Approximately 3,500 tonnes of rock salt is stored locally, and regularly replenished during the winter season;
• One-tonne salt bags can be located at short notice at strategic locations when snow or prolonged icy conditions are forecast. The principal aim is for self help for our more rural communities;
• The gritting fleet has a GPS navigation system, which records vehicles’ locations and can be tracked live by members of the public by clicking on the winter service link at www.cheshireeasthighways.org;
• Passing traffic breaks down the salt granules and the salt works by turning the ice or snow surrounding each granule into a saline solution, which prevents ice from forming.
Further advice and a leaflet ‘Travelling on our roads in winter’ can be found at www.cheshireeasthighways.org, on Twitter @CECHighways or by calling 0300 123 5020.