GRITTING teams at Nottinghamshire County Council are still keeping a wary eye on the weather – despite a relatively mild winter so far.
But with the United States currently in the grip of the Polar Vortex and overnight temperatures in Nottinghamshire forecast to fall below freezing next week, the County’s gritters aren’t taking anything for granted.
On full-time standby since November 1, by the end of December the teams had completed 26 salting runs on main routes – A and B roads and all main bus routes -- and two runs on secondary snow routes, using a total of 5,000 tonnes of salt.
In the same period in late 2012 the teams had completed 32 runs on main routes and three secondary runs, using approximately 7,000 tonnes of salt.
The longest period of continuous operations in the same period last year was 15 days. This year so far it has been just three consecutive nights.
Last year the first severe weather hit Nottinghamshire on January 9 and from then until early April the teams were kept busy helping to keep Nottinghamshire on the move during what was a particularly long and cold winter.
By April, gritting teams had completed over 130 salting runs and a stretch in late March of 20 consecutive nights out on the roads – both new records for the County Council – and a 72-hour marathon over one weekend alone.
When not out salting the roads, the gritting teams have taken advantage of the milder weather this year to concentrate on checking, filling and topping up the 1,200 yellow salt bins situated around the county at crucial spots.
The yellow bins are provided and maintained by the County Council where a nearby road is very exposed and severely affected by winter weather, where there is a hazardous junction or where there are lots of pedestrians, especially older, very young or disabled people.
Throughout the winter the County Council, wherever possible, keeps them filled up with grit which can be used on local roads and footways – but not private driveways.
Residents can get up-to-date information about the Council’s services during severe weather by:
Checking the County Council website at www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk
Sign up to Twitter at www.twitter.com and then follow @nottscc
Visit the Council’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/nottscc
Call the County Council’s customer service centre on 0300 500 8080
Listen to local radio and check the local press.