Cheshire East Council’s highways teams are geared up to face the coming winter weather – as forecasters predict an arctic blast hitting the region this weekend.
The aim is to keep the roads moving and, as winter approaches, the teams are prepared to work around the clock to keep the borough’s key routes open and safe.
Salt stocks have been replenished and the highways service’s 19 gritters are on standby to treat Cheshire East’s road network. Gritting routes are planned and include the recognised high-level roads to the east of the borough, where snow and ice tend to have the most severe impact in extremely cold weather.
The gritting teams will treat up to 1,200 kilometres (750 miles) of road, when wintry conditions are predicted by our weather forecasting systems, to keep key routes and services running as normal. The gritters, which feature location trackers, will be on standby 24 hours a day, seven days a week until the end of April and fill up from our stocks in the north and south of the borough.
Councillor Don Stockton, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for environment, said: “Our winter season can stretch over a six-month period. We started treating the high routes as early as 6 October this season, so it was crucial that our gritters were ready and our salt stocks remain high.
“Winter weather can be extremely unpredictable, so we monitor the weather conditions closely to ensure that our gritting routes are treated at the right time. We also urge residents to take great care when driving or walking when it’s icy or snowing.
“Although we treat nearly half of Cheshire East’s road network, we cannot ensure that every road will be clear of snow and ice all the time, especially on untreated roads.”
Treatment of the roads in winter takes place on a precautionary basis to prevent ice forming, with snow being dealt with using specialist equipment such as attachable snow ploughs.
Residents can keep up to date with gritting decisions by following the @CECHighways twitter account. Cheshire East’s gritting vehicles can also be tracked as they treat the network at: www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/highways
Further information about Cheshire East Council’s winter service and guidance on travelling during winter can be found at: www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/highways
The highways service can also be contacted on 0300 123 5020.