Herts County Council gritters on standby for wintry weather
Hertfordshire's fleet of 58 gritters is on standby, ready to spring into action to salt the county's roads from Friday (Oct 1).
The county council highways team is ready around the clock to cover nearly half of the shire's road network – more than 2,500km (1,500 miles) – to keep routes open for the next six months.
Cllr Phil Bibby, the council's cabinet member for highways and transport, said: "October is the beginning of our winter season, and we make sure our gritters are ready, our salt stocks in the depots are high and that the county's 1,000-plus salt bins are topped up before freezing weather arrives.
"Our crews will be on standby 24 hours a day until April, ready to deal with whatever the weather throws at us.
"We don't know how much, if any, snow and ice we'll see this winter, but I'm confident that our highways teams are ready and we will do everything we can to keep the county's roads open and safe, whatever the weather."
The county sends out gritters when road surface temperatures are forecast to be 0.5C or below and a hazard is expected.
This year some routes have been adjusted to accommodate continued Covid-19 social distancing measures in accordance with the latest Government advice.
Where practical, roads to schools, care homes, doctors' surgeries, key pharmacies and libraries are gritted, as well as all the county's A and B roads, bus routes (including school buses), roads with a 10% gradient or steeper and at least one route into every village.
The authority supplies salt to schools and to district, borough, town and parish councils on request. Community groups and residents' associations can also access free gritting salt – last year, some 230 groups took advantage of this.