COLUMN: We’re ready for winter weather

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Now the clocks have gone back, it’s a good time for everyone to start getting ready for winter.

Winter maintenance is a high priority for us at Nottinghamshire County Council, so behind the scenes we have been planning for winter all year round so we are in a strong position and ready for whatever the winter brings.

Our 30-strong gritting fleet are on full 24-hour standby should the road temperature forecast be 0°C or below — as was the case on November 4 when gritters made their first run of the season — or if Met 
Office forecasts suggest moisture will be present to form ice.

All of our gritting lorries in the county’s fleet are all equipped with a CCTV system, to help monitor road surface conditions as well as being tracked by GPS technology.

I recently visited Bilsthorpe, which is one of the four county-wide depots where our winter maintenance operations are 
based.

We have three new four-wheel drive gritting vehicles located here to help increase resilience for coping in the event of severe weather.

Roadside weather stations at A614 Perlethorpe and A611 Coxmoor have been recently refurbished and upgraded, including replacing sensors and new CCTV cameras to improve the quality of weather forecasting information and to help monitor road surface conditions.

Our salt barns already well-stocked. In fact the county has 10,000 tonnes more salt stockpiled than official government recommendations, putting us in an excellent position should we face the worst winter conditions.

Our new winter webpage is now live and is full of advice and information on staying safe and well during colder spells.

It’s worth taking a look as it has everything from gritting facts and updates to winter driving advice.

As it’s noticeably darker earlier on the evening, now is the time to be more visible to other road users during the dark winter nights (and days) ahead, whether you are a pedestrian, cyclists or motorists.

And as schools tend to close around dusk time, it’s a good idea for children to wear fluorescent or bright clothing in the daytime and reflective material at night as research shows this makes them five times more visible to drivers.

More details are available by visitingt www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/winter.

Or you can follow gritting updates on Twitter @NottsCC