Herts County Council gritters on standby to salt icy roads for the next six months
Hertfordshire County Council's fleet of 58 gritters is now on standby, ready to salt the roads when freezing weather is forecast.
Crews and decision-makers from the council's highways team will be ready round the clock to cover nearly half of the shire's road network of more than 2,500km (1,500 miles) – the equivalent of salting from Hertford to Berlin and back.
Cllr Phil Bibby, HCC's cabinet member for highways, 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 with a cold winter forecast, 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.
It aims to grit roads to schools, care homes, doctors' surgeries, key pharmacies and libraries, as well as all the county's A and B roads, bus routes including those for schools, roads with a 10% gradient or steeper and at least one route into every village.
For more information about Hertfordshire County Council's winter service programme and to receive real-time updates, visit www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/salting .