Nottinghamshire County Council’s gritting fleet goes on full 24 hour standby from today November 1, until the end of March.
The 30 strong fleet of gritters have already been in action from last Friday across the county, and there are plans to install a new weather station on Mapperley Plains to enhance the quality of weather forecasting information, and improve road monitoring.
Councillor John Cottee, chairman of the County Council’s community and place committee, which will be discussing highways preparation for winter when it meets next week, said: “Winter maintenance is a high priority for us at Nottinghamshire County Council.
“So behind the scenes we plan for it all year round so we’re ready to cope with whatever the winter weather throws at us. We also look to make improvements where they are needed.
“With this in mind, we are planning to install a new weather station on Mapperley Plains.
"We listened to concerns raised last season about our approach to winter maintenance in the Gedling area and, following a review, are planning to invest around £30,000 in the new equipment.
"The weather station will be live from early in the New Year, and staff are currently liaising with the supplier to confirm the location.
“The topography of the Gedling area means that having a station monitoring the conditions on one of the highest points within the County will provide us with valuable information.
“And £20,000 improvements to our roadside weather station on the A60 at Costock will also help boost the accuracy of weather forecasting information available to those who decide whether conditions are right to grit the roads,”
The Costock weather station is currently in the process of being upgraded with new sensors and CCTV cameras have also been added.
The cameras are a valuable tool to access, particularly when snowfall is being experienced, and provides real time monitoring of road conditions and potential problems with accumulation of snow.
The County Council currently has eight weather stations spread across Nottinghamshire with those on the A614 at Perlethorpe and A611 at Coxmoor being refurbished for last season. It also has access to information from a further four stations owned by other local authorities.
Kevin Heathcote, gritting manager said: “Following the harsh conditions of last year, we are now geared up and ready to treat our gritting routes through to the end of March - that’s a third of the county’s entire road network, so 117 A and B roads, heavily trafficked major roads and many main bus routes,”
“Having localised, up-to-the-minute information readily available means we can provide a guaranteed flexible response to weather conditions - I don’t think any of us will quickly forget the Beast from the East when our gritters salted routes a gruelling 15 times within one week.”