Highways teams gear up for winter

Wirral Borough Council News from wirralview.com
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Highways teams gear up for winter

Post by Wirral Council News » Fri Nov 02, 2018 10:53 am

Wirral’s Highways teams are getting ready to face the challenges of winter.

From early November, the team will be on standby 24 hours a day, seven days a week throughout the winter months, ready to respond when temperatures – or the forecast – demand it.

There are 737 miles of roads in Wirral, but it is not affordable to grit every one of them. So instead, the team prioritises 288 miles of well-used major roads and bus routes including known problem areas, such as significant hills and exposed areas, and deploys the gritting fleet along 10 pre-planned routes.

Each routes normally takes three to five hours to complete. Wirral highways team does not look after the M53 motorway; that is Highways England’s responsibility.

The impressive salt barn at the council depot on Cleveland Street can store up to 3,500 tonnes of salt and the weather forecast is monitored 24 hours a day to ensure that they are ready to grit roads whenever it is needed.

When a decision to grit is made, the aim is to have the first gritter on the road within an hour. Wirral’s fleet includes ten full-size gritters and four mini-gritters that spread around 2,100 tonnes of salt in an average winter.

Footpaths, off-road cycleways and public car parks are not gritted as part of the routine winter maintenance gritting programme. Many residents choose to help each other out in extreme weather, clearing snow and ice on pavements outside their homes. It isn’t true that this is against the law!

A map of gritting routes in Wirral can be viewed on the council’s website.

STOP PRESS: If you see roads being ‘gritted’ on Saturday 3rd November but are curious as to why because the sun is out - this is because the teams are carrying out their annual preparatory ‘dry’ run of the gritting routes to refresh their skills.

'Grit bits' you may not know...

Roads are gritted when the road surface temperature demands it in an effort to stop ice forming on the road surface.
Motorists are still advised to drive carefully - just because a road has been gritted does not mean the ice has gone.
Rock salt needs vehicles to drive over it in order to work effectively. Vehicles grind the salt into smaller particles to spread it across the road.
There may be occasions when it is not possible to grit roads, for example during rain - it just washes away the salt. If temperatures then drop suddenly, the wet roads may freeze before there is time to mobilise gritters.

Read full article http://wirralview.com/news/highways-teams-gear-winter

Published by Wirral Council News on Fri, 02 Nov 2018 http://www.wirral.gov.uk

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