Flintshire County Council is getting ready for winter with annual preparations underway for the gritting season.
Winter is a very busy time of year for Streetscene especially when temperatures drop and snow is on the way. Our teams start the winter preparations as early as October, so you may have already seen our gritting vehicles out and about checking routes and testing equipment. The vehicles are driven once a week to ensure they are in full working order and at the same time, we train new drivers. This is to ensure that we have the maximum resources available should our teams be deployed to grit the County’s roads.
The fleet of 12 gritters is on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Priority routes are decided by road classification and usage. The 12 Priority 1 gritting routes (roads carrying substantial volumes of traffic) total approximately 560kms of the County’s highway network, which is 45% of the total.
Flintshire’s Cabinet Member for Streetscene, Councillor Glyn Banks, said:
“We place the highest priority on helping traffic to keep moving safely in winter. It’s vital to residents and businesses. We grit as required to keep our roads open. Our first priority is major routes that connect or go through the county’s towns, followed by routes that give access to smaller communities. Our gritting teams are once again ready to go out and keep our roads moving through the winter months.”
“Our salt stores are well stocked, with 2,200 tonnes at Alltami and 5,000 tonnes at Greenfield (with more due to arrive soon) – plus over 450 salt bins and grit heaps supplied with over 100 tonnes of salt at the edge of the highway in rural areas.”
“We use an “autologic” system which ensures that the optimal amount of salt has been spread to maximise the treatments, meaning salt is not wasted. The technology also allows the vehicles to be tracked live throughout the gritting operations.”
The weather is closely monitored between October and April and a daily decision is made on whether any action is needed.
Residents can also do their bit and begin to think about preparing for winter, such as checking that their own vehicles are safe and ready for winter, checking the local and regional weather forecasts before travelling and parking sensibly to allow the gritters to pass safely.
Call volumes and enquiries to Streetscene increase at this time of year, especially in cases of severe weather.
We always aim to deal with enquiries as quickly and efficiently as possible but in some cases, the answer can be found on our gritting and snow clearing pages, we have lots of information on there and links to other useful websites too.
Pictured: Flintshire Council's Street Scene members Mark Humphreys, Keith Johnson, Chief Officer for Streetscene Katie Wilby and Cllr Glyn Banks with some of the gritters