Gritters take to Plymouth roads for first time
Plymouth Transport and Highways (PTH) had its fleet of gritters out over the weekend for the first time this winter.
All seven primary gritting routes were treated in and around the city on Saturday evening to avert icy patches from forming, as road surface temperatures were forecast to fall close to zero.
With weather forecasters predicting that most of Britain will experience a cold snap over the coming weeks, PTH's winter service team is on standby for further action 24 hours a day. The city’s salt barn at Honicknowle is full with more than 1,000 tonnes of salt and the 400 community salt bins around the city have also been topped up for people to use locally on public roads and footways.
PTH’s winter service, which is delivered by Plymouth City Council’s road maintenance partner Amey, lasts from the beginning of October to the end of March each year. During this period the weather is monitored closely via a dedicated forecast station and two sensor stations, to ensure roads are pre-treated with salt before temperatures drop and icy patches form.
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Because it is not possible to salt all the 900km of roads in Plymouth, resources are concentrated on the main routes used for getting into, out of and around the city to keep it moving even during extreme weather.
Councillor Mark Coker, Cabinet Member for Transport said: "The first gritting run of the winter was done over the weekend without a hitch. We’re committed to keeping the city moving no matter what the winter throws at us and were making preparations months ahead of starting our winter service on 1 October. Last year we had quite a mild season, but lessons learned from the two severe winters before that mean we’re more prepared than ever.
"I’d encourage people to think about what they need to do themselves to travel safely in winter conditions. Small actions like checking tyre pressures and topping up screen wash levels could make all the difference on winter journeys in the city and beyond.”
Winter roads – useful facts
PTH’s winter maintenance service runs from 1 October to 31 March
The city has a fleet of seven gritting vehicles
A full gritting run will cover 42 per cent of the city’s road network (380 km) and takes about four hours
Footpaths are not routinely gritted
There are 400 grit bins around the city which can be used by members of the public to treat public roads or footpaths – these are not for use on private property
‘Grit’ is actually salt - you only need to use one tablespoon of grit to treat one square metre of public footway
You can request winter services such as grit box refilling by calling PTH on 01752 668000 or emailing email@example.com.