Gritters back at work ahead of winter freeze
ROADS in Plymouth were gritted for the first time last weekend, heralding the early arrival of winter.
Plymouth Transport and Highways (PTH) had its fleet of gritters out over the weekend with all seven primary gritting routes treated 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, a spokesman for Plymouth City Council said PTH's winter service team was on standby for further action 24 hours a day.
The spokesman said 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 via a dedicated forecast station and two sensor stations, to ensure roads are pre-treated with salt before temperatures drop and icy patches form.
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 October 1. 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."
Information about Plymouth's roads in winter is available at www.plymouth.gov.uk/highways, including gritting routes and locations of salt bins.
You can request winter services such as grit box refilling by calling PTH on 01752 668000 or emailing email@example.com.