Gritters gear up for record-breaking night

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COUNCIL gritting teams are preparing to take to the roads again tonight – and are on course to set a new record.

Nottinghamshire County Council’s gritting teams have completed 104 runs across the county since 26th October last year.

Two years ago, during the severe winter of 2010/11, the teams set a new record for gritting runs by going out 108 times.

And with sub-zero temperatures forecast for the rest of this week, it looks likely that that particular record will be smashed.

“Along with the rest of the country, this March has been the coldest in Nottinghamshire for around 50 years,” said Andy Oscroft, works manager at county council depot.

“One day earlier this month we recorded -5C, which was the coldest day in the county since 1986.

“And although we may not have had as much severe and prolonged snow as we did two years ago, we are on course by the end of this week to have completed more gritting runs than we did then.”

Since gritting began in October, the county council has used 22,000 tonnes of salt – the entire capacity of all its storage barns.

Constant deliveries mean that current salt levels stand at a healthy 16,000 tonnes with a further 5,000 on order.

And although the weather has kept the gritting teams busy over the past few months they - like everyone else are looking forward to warmer weather and the beginning of grass cutting duties.

“Although we’ve not had as much snow as other parts of the country, the temperatures have been consistently low for weeks,” added Andy.

“The last time we had any significant mild spell was a run of four consecutive nights in December when temperatures remained above freezing and we didn’t need to go out.

“We’re all really looking forward to the return of warmer weather and switching over to grass-cutting duties.”