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Wiltshire Council is ready to help keep the roads safe this winter

We have robust plans in place and a fleet of 24 gritters ready to deploy when road temperatures near freezing

Published 3 November 2021
Gritter on a  snowy Wiltshire road

Wiltshire Council is prepared with a winter maintenance team and fleet of specialist vehicles ready to take action to keep the roads safe across the county.

The council's fleet of 24 gritters is on hand to be deployed for when the road temperatures require them, with salting taking place whenever road temperatures near freezing.

Salt is usually used on roads after the evening peak of traffic or before the morning rush, as late evening and early morning are the most likely times that frost and ice affect road surfaces. All key routes in Wiltshire receive precautionary salting when ice is forecast, including motorways, trunk roads and class A and B roads.

People are encouraged to be cautious when the roads may be icy or in severe weather, firstly considering whether a journey is necessary and driving to the conditions of the road. During the winter, roads are treated in order of priority and dependent on conditions, and people are urged not to assume that a road has been gritted, as many of the minor roads will receive no treatment.

Cllr Dr Mark McClelland, Cabinet Member for Transport and Street Scene, said: Our winter maintenance team does a fantastic job of looking after our county's roads in very challenging conditions and circumstances, to help keep our residents and road users safe across Wiltshire. Our dedicated team of duty engineers monitors the weather 24/7 during the season, supported by highways staff, with 24 gritter drivers on standby to be called into action at any time.

We have robust plans in place and work closely with communities to ensure we are ready to deal with any cold and harsh winter weather conditions. Although the conditions are unpredictable each year, our teams are well trained, prepared and equipped to help keep Wiltshire moving.

The council has 13,000 tonnes of salt in stock, strategically placed throughout the county in six storage sites. It also has weather stations in key areas that provide real-time information and assist in producing accurate forecasts to ensure gritters are sent out at the right time.

On average it can take up to 140 tonnes of salt to grit Wiltshire's A and B class roads and 230 tonnes to salt an extended list of roads during prolonged cold weather.

During winter, the council teams share regular updates on both the weather and road conditions on Twitter, and people can follow @WiltshireWinter (opens new window) and the main council account @WiltsCouncil (opens new window) to keep updated.

People can report any winter road or salt bin issues under the weather emergency section of the MyWilts online reporting or via the MyWilts App, available to download from the App Store (Apple) (opens new window) and Google Play (Android) (opens new window).

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