Nottinghamshire County Council’s gritting teams will be taking to the county’s roads for the first time this season tonight (Wednesday) - with road surface temperatures set to fall below freezing for the first time this winter.
Temperatures could drop as low as -2C and crews will be reporting for duty at 7pm, taking to the roads from 8pm.
Gritters went into full-time standby mode last weekend in preparation for winter.
The teams have been on low-risk standby since the beginning of October, as is normal, but as of midnight last Friday they shifted into full 24/7 standby and will remain that way until the end of March next year – or later if necessary.
Although the weather has been much milder recently compared to the same time in previous years – in 2012 gritters salted the county’s roads for the first time on 26th October – the county council has been preparing for winter all throughout the summer.
Nottinghamshire’s four salt barns are full to the brim, giving the county council 12,000 tonnes more salt stockpiled than official Government recommendations - putting the county in a strong position for dealing with the worst winter conditions.
Overall, the council has the capacity to store around 20,000 tonnes of salt – some 18,000 tonnes of it under cover.
Each time the teams go out they salt approximately 1,120 miles of road across Nottinghamshire, concentrating on A and B roads and main bus routes – that’s just 70 miles further than the distance from Retford to Reykjavik in Iceland.