Wiltshire gets new fleet of gritters

Wiltshire gets new fleet of gritters

Published by Henrietta Creasey at 12:56pm 21st October 2019. (Updated at 1:21pm 21st October 2019)

A 24-strong fleet of brand new gritters will be keeping the county moving this winter.

Wiltshire Council has leased the fleet ready to tackle any fresh 'Beast from the East' or extreme weather system coming our way.

As well as the most up-to-date technology like touchscreen controllers the new winter fleet is also fitted with the very latest low emission engines.

The contract with Yorkshire based Econ Engineering will cost the local authority £500,000 a year.

The gritters will be stationed in strategically located depots across the county like High Post at Amesbury.

The vehicles will be used on Wiltshire's primary road network of A and B roads, covering 726 miles and spreading approximately 150 tonnes of salt each time they are sent out. 

In severe or prolonged cold weather secondary routes will be treated.

Salisbury Snow Castle Road Roundabout 2018 (Ellie Harries)

PLENTY OF SALT IN STOCK! 

Wiltshire Council has more than 11,000 tonnes of salt in stock strategically placed throughout the county at six storage sites.

Last year the local authority used 6,000 tonnes of salt with the gritters going out 40 times.

There are also weather stations in key areas to closely monitor the weather and provide real-time information to help produce accurate forecasts making sure the gritters are sent out at the right time.

A dedicated team of duty engineers monitor the weather 24/7 during the season, supported by highways staff, and 24 drivers are on standby to be called into action at any time.  

Cllr Bridget Wayman, Cabinet Member for Highways, said: 

"We have invested in this brand-new fleet of gritters to help keep Wiltshire moving during the cold winter months ahead.

"Our message is simple - we've planned well and we're ready. This new fleet will make a real difference and, alongside our meticulous planning and strong links with communities, we can ensure we are ready for whatever the weather may bring."

To mark the roll out of the new fleet, the gritters all came together for a special photoshoot in Wiltshire. 

Gritters Wiltshire 2019
A brand new fleet of 24 gritters will be keeping Wiltshire's road moving this winter.

Mick Buckler, Divisional Manager at Ringway Wiltshire, who look after the roads for the council, is 'delighted' with the new investment. 

"This enables us, as contracting partner to the council, to continue to deliver an excellent winter service for the residents and communities of Wiltshire; keeping roads clear and safe and the travelling public moving effectively on major routes."

The new gritters are expected to be sent out on dry test runs later this month.

During the winter you can get updates on both the weather and road conditions on Twitter by following @WiltshireWinter

 

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