Gritters on standby in case cold snap brings big freeze to roads
GRITTERS are on standby across the county in case of a cold snap.
Starting yesterday, Notts County Council's gritting teams are ready to spring in to action if freezing temperatures are forecast.
In addition, the authority has been preparing for winter by developing a new 650-square-metre grit barn in Gamston.
The new barn will mean that the council has more salt stockpiled than ever before – 12,000 tonnes more than official Government recommendations – which highways chiefs claim will put the county in a strong position for dealing with the worst conditions.
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The new barn joins the council's three other barns – already full of salt – and means that around 18,000 tonnes of salt will be safely stored under cover across Notts.
Councillor Richard Jackson, chairman of the transport and highways committee, said: "Although last winter wasn't as bad as forecasters first feared, we learned a lot from the previous year's prolonged bad weather.
"Our planning for winter carries on throughout the year and we are confident that we are in a stronger position than ever to deal with an extended cold spell.
"Our existing salt barns are already full to the gunwales, Gamston will shortly be coming on stream and we will be ready to swing into action as soon as any bad weather arrives."
As in previous years the county council will again be working with parish councils to keep roads clear during heavy snowfalls.
Snow wardens appointed by parish councils last year will again be acting as a link between villages and the county council's district highways managers.
The wardens will provide information on the local situation, consult with the district manager about local needs and help in co-ordinating the operations of other agencies and authorities.
And farmers will again be asked if they would be prepared to help keep roads clear during periods of heavy snowfall. "Like most people we keep our fingers crossed and hope that the coming winter won't be too severe, but we have to be realistic and plan for the worst," added Mr Jackson. "The council gives high priority to winter maintenance and we are determined to keep our county on the move this winter."