Wokingham Borough Council’s gritting lorries are ready to go for the cold season, helping to keep roads safe and traffic moving this winter.
As temperatures begin to drop, our fleet is on standby to grit roads across the borough.
The council’s winter service plan for 2020-21 can be found on our website and sets out how our contractor VolkerHighways will spring into action when weather conditions are really poor or when temperatures are close to or below freezing.
Gritting: the stats
We have five of these vehicles on standby from November through to March 2021 when the weather is at its coldest.
We keep about 1,500 tonnes of salt at our Toutley depot, which helps to keep the roads cleared through the winter.
Salt is used to cover all the primary routes in the borough, with each salting run seeing VolkerHighways cover about 252km of roads.
Daily reports are analysed to decide whether the busiest roads in the borough need to be pre-salted when it’s cold.
These primary routes are supplemented with additional gritting on secondary routes if a prolonged period of hazardous weather is expected.
Ready to go
Dry runs have been completed to spot and rectify any overgrowing vegetation and defects which may interfere with the gritting. This also helps to test attaching the ploughs and calibrate each route for the amount of grit they need.
If any snow does fall this winter, the roads are cleared in descending order of priority, with the most used roads cleared first. A full list of primary, secondary and third tier roads can be found on our website in the winter service plan.
It also outlines the 47 salt bins we keep topped up, as well as locations such as outside schools and cycleways, which will be gritted if needed.
How the gritters work
Our gritters are ‘all-wheel drive’ and have on-board weighing, meaning the gritters can measure and carry the optimum amount of road salt required to be spread for forecast conditions saving time, fuel and reducing emissions.
Cllr Pauline Jorgensen, executive member for highways and transport, said: “This preparation work is now complete as we approach the winter to ensure residents can continue to get around the borough easily, whatever the weather.
“The team is prepared for any weather condition in the months ahead and we will work alongside our contractor to monitor these every day and ensure roads receive the right preparation and gritting each night if required.”
Alistair Thompson, managing director of VolkerHighways, said: “Keeping the local community safe through the winter months is a top priority for us and so, the gritters and our team are well prepared for when the harsher conditions arrive.”
For more information on snow, ice and safe winter driving residents can visit the council’s website.