Gritters head out for first salt spreading as cold weather sweeps across Nottinghamshire

Gritters are going out this week for the first significant operation of the autumn and winter season on motorways and major A-roads as temperatures dip across the country.
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National Highways, which operates England’s 4,500-mile strategic road network, is urging drivers to take care during the poor weather while also giving gritting teams space to operate.

The company switched over to autumn and winter operations on October 1, readying teams at 128 depots across the country to keep the country’s busiest roads open in the face of deteriorating weather.

With milder weather in October and November, minimal action was needed on our roads network with road surface temperatures staying above 1C.

The National Highways winter fleet ready for action.The National Highways winter fleet ready for action.
The National Highways winter fleet ready for action.

However, that has now changed, with National Highways’ comprehensive forecasting services indicating road surfaces are at risk of developing ice today, December 7, triggering the need for gritter drivers in numerous areas to conduct their first salt spreading runs of the season.

A number of Met Office National Severe Weather Warnings have been issued as an Arctic maritime airmass brings cold weather to the UK with a risk of ice, wintry showers and snow.

In England, there are yellow weather warnings for ice in North Cornwall and North Devon as well as along the East coast and northern England.

Further severe weather warnings could be issued as we head through the week.

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Darren Clark, severe weather resilience manager at National Highways, said: “We manage a huge roads network nationwide, with more than 4,500 miles of motorways and A-roads.

“Not all roads will need treating on any given day. Gritters may need to go out in some regions if road temperatures fall below 1C, and if there is a risk of ice forming, but not in other areas if conditions are not as cold.

“National Highways is committed to treating every road which needs to be treated – whenever it is needed.

“We are armed with the latest technology, forecasting intelligence and years of experience to help us make informed decisions about where and when we need to spread salt to help keep road users safe in even the most adverse weather conditions.”

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