Nottinghamshire County Council already preparing for winter

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The school summer holidays may have only just started but Nottinghamshire County Council is already looking forward to the winter ahead.

The salt barns are fully stocked with around 18,000 tonnes of grit, nearly 7,000 tonnes more than the nationally recommended amount and enough to carry out four gritting runs, every day, for three weeks.

Coun Neil Clarke, committee chairman of the Transport and Environment Committee at Nottinghamshire County Council said: “We plan for winter all year round and we are in a strong position for dealing with the worst winter conditions thrown at us.

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“We have large stockpiles of salt and the latest tracking and navigation systems on the county council’s gritting fleet, which means that all drivers will be able to drive any route – helping to keep the county on the move as we continue to recover from Covid.”

Three gritting lorries at Bilsthorpe DepotThree gritting lorries at Bilsthorpe Depot
Three gritting lorries at Bilsthorpe Depot
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But it’s not only snow and ice that the council must prepare for. High winds and gales are common with seasonal storms and can result in fallen trees and branches blocking roads and pavements. To help prevent this the council’s forestry team inspect every tree on the highway network throughout the year, carrying out routine pruning and identifying any diseased or weakened trees so remedial work can be completed.

Heavy, persistent rainfall during storms can also cause significant hazards. Even though the council works hard to maintain more than 158, 000 road gullies, the drainage system can become overloaded especially where a month’s rain falls in just a few hours. While this will often drain away in a short period without intervention, it can temporarily block part or all of the highway and the council’s emergency response teams are on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days-a-year.

During the 2019/20 winter storms, the team dealt with 734 different emergencies, used 5,000 sandbags, closed 162 roads and attended 231 tree related incidents.

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