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Gloucestershire Business News

Gritters at the ready as cold weather starts to bite

The county's new fleet of gritters have had a test run as highways teams prepare to battle ice and snow.

The gritters are being leased by the county council for ten years to replace the old fleet, which is 12 years old, and are based at depots around the county.

Test runs have now been completed across the county with the gritters travelling along all A, B and some C roads and routes to emergency services like hospitals and fire stations as well as most frequent bus routes.

Teams also inspected the winter maintenance equipment such as snow ploughs and in-cab mobile phones, and were briefed on this year's winter response plan which covers key contacts, procedures, roles and responsibilities.

Last year, the county council's gritting teams completed an average of 64 gritting runs over 56,000 miles using just over 9,300 tonnes of salt.

This year the county is starting winter with just over 10,000 tonnes of salt, with covered salt domes based in Stroudwater, Cannop, Moreton and Cirencester.

Bagged salt will also be delivered to parishes, and the county's 4,860 grit bins have been refilled.

Cllr Vernon Smith, cabinet member for highways and flood, said: "We're preparing our highways teams for when the cold weather hits, investing in a new fleet of gritters that will keep spread salt over 1,000 miles of the county's roads.

"Our road crews are the first line of defence in winter weather: they put in tremendous effort battling the elements around the clock so we can travel safely around the county.

The county council is holding a colouring competition inviting primary school aged children to find the best names for the gritters. Winning schools will receive a prize and a visit from the Amey winter crews with their gritter proudly displaying its new name.

The colouring and naming competition is open to all primary schools in the county, closing date is 24th November.

Cllr Smith said: "Our competition will give local children a chance to learn about road safety during icy weather."

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