The salt storage facilities run by Bath & North East Somerset Council are being topped up to capacity in preparation for whatever the winter weather throws at the area’s roads. Some 1,300 tonnes is ready for spreading by the Council’s nine-strong fleet of gritting vehicles when temperatures plunge.
Due to frosty conditions, the Council’s gritters completed their first run of the winter season last night (Sunday 5 November).
Over 38% of the road network is salted by the Council – this totals 263 miles of highway and is 8% higher than the national average, supplemented with over 400 grit bins also available for the public to access salt.
In the event of snowfall the Council redeploys staff to assist with snow clearing and can operate the gritting fleet around the clock to ensure the maximum levels of support is given to residential and business communities across the district.
Councillor Tim Warren (Conservative, Mendip), Leader of Council – who is also a volunteer snow warden, said: “We are committed to making it easier for residents, businesses and visitors to get around our area, whatever the weather and we are pleased to be able to offer the same high quality service as last year. Over the last few months, Bath & North East Somerset Council has been busy preparing for a harsh winter. Our gritting fleet has been serviced and tested ready for the coming winter, and our teams have been out in the community refilling the 400 plus grit bins at the side of the road.
“We’re also very grateful to members of the Council’s Snow Warden Scheme, the initiative encouraging people to volunteer to help clear snow and ice the Council can’t get to.”
A substantial amount of information is available on the Council’s website www.bathnes.gov.uk/gritting – including a winter advice leaflet offering tips on dealing with severe winter weather on highways and pavements. This includes Government guidance on householders clearing snow and ice outside their home.
Councillor Tim Warren added: “The Council is well prepared to ensure our priority routes are gritted so that people can get around the road network as safely as possible.
“We know that winter water leaks can result in ice forming on roads, we have therefore developed arrangements with Bristol Water to help them deal with locations where water leaks present a risk to the traveling public. Our staff will be using real time weather station data and specialist weather forecasting to ensure we optimise gritting runs and spread salt with maximum efficiency.”
During any severe winter weather the Council provides regular updates about the status of its services on www.twitter.com/bathnes.
The public can also play their part in helping the Council to manage the road network during severe weather. They can report any problems on: 01225 3934041, Council_Connect@bathnes.gov.uk or via Twitter @ccbathnes.