New fleet of gritters ready to keep Wiltshire moving this winter
A 24-strong fleet of brand new gritters will be taking to the streets of Wiltshire this winter to keep the county moving whatever the weather.
Wiltshire Council has leased the fleet ready to tackle any fresh Beast from the East or extreme weather system coming our way.
As well as the most up-to-date technology, the new winter fleet is also fitted with the very latest low emission engines.
The gritters will be stationed in strategically located depots across the county.
The gritters will be used on Wiltshire's primary road network of A and B roads, covering 726 miles and spreading approximately 150 tonnes of salt each time they are sent out.
In severe or prolonged cold weather, the network can be increased to 50% by treating our secondary routes.
Wiltshire Council has more than 11,000 tonnes of salt in stock strategically placed throughout the county at six storage sites.
There are also weather stations in key areas to closely monitor the weather and provide real-time information to assist in producing accurate forecasts to ensure gritters are sent out at the right time.
A dedicated team of duty engineers monitor the weather 24/7 during the season, supported by highways staff, and 24 drivers are on standby to be called into action at any time.
To mark the roll out of the new fleet, the gritters all came together for a special photo shoot in Wiltshire.
Cllr Bridget Wayman, Cabinet Member for Highways, said: "We have invested in this brand-new fleet of gritters to help keep Wiltshire moving during the cold winter months ahead.
"Our message is simple we've planned well and we're ready. This new fleet will make a real difference and, alongside our meticulous planning and strong links with communities, we can ensure we are ready for whatever the weather may bring."
Mick Buckler, Divisional Manager at Ringway Wiltshire said: ""Ringway is delighted that Wiltshire Council has chosen to make such a positive investment in a new gritter fleet. This enables us, as contracting partner to the council, to continue to deliver an excellent winter service for the residents and communities of Wiltshire; keeping roads clear and safe and the travelling public moving effectively on major routes."
Econ Engineering Sales Director Andrew Lupton said: "Econ has worked in partnership with Wiltshire Council for many years to ensure that the county's road network is equipped with the most effective winter maintenance vehicles possible.
"The council shares our belief in the importance of technology and innovation in keeping winter roads safe and has taken great care to specify that their 24 Econ vehicles are fitted with the most up-to-date technology available. High-tech features such as touchscreen controllers will help to maximise the vehicles' efficiency and safety, while low emissions chassis minimise environmental impact."
During winter, people can get updates on both the weather and road conditions on Twitter by following @WiltshireWinter