Bath & North East Somerset Council’s low-emission gritting lorries will be out and about this weekend testing their systems in readiness for keeping local roads safe and traffic moving this winter.
The nine state-of-the-art vehicles, invested in by the council in 2019, will be undergoing test runs and route familiarisation for the drivers on Saturday 24th October.
The tests will ensure that the fleet is ready to spring into action when temperatures drop and poor weather conditions arise, and are part of the council’s winter preparedness programme.
The gritters are ‘all-wheel-drive’, have a GPS-controlled automatic spreading system and mapping software that allows the driver to cover any route in any vehicle.
Onboard weighing means the gritters can measure and carry the optimum amount of road salt required to be spread for forecast conditions, which saves time, fuel and reduces emissions.
Councillor Neil Butters, joint cabinet member for Transport Services, said: “If you see our gritting fleet out on the roads this weekend, please don’t worry – it’s not a sign that we are expecting bad weather.
“It’s crucial that we keep the roads safe and traffic flowing as we head towards winter, so we need to make sure the vehicles are in tip-top condition and are ready to be deployed at short notice.
“Working alongside our partner Volker Highways we have a very experienced team ready to deal with whatever conditions winter throws at us.
“When the time comes, a lot of the actual gritting work will be carried out overnight as we do our utmost to keep roads safe and the road network running throughout the colder months.”
In preparation for bad weather, the council’s road salt storage facility has been topped up to capacity with 1,300 tonnes of salt.
The 434 grit bins sited across the district for public use are also being refilled.
More than 38 per cent of the road network is treated by the council during freezing conditions – a total of 263 miles of highway which is more than the national average.
The gritting fleet can operate around the clock to ensure the maximum level of support is given to residential and business communities across the district.
Residents are being reminded that the council is unable to supply salt directly to the public and should not attempt to enter council highways depots for safety reasons.
Residents can play their part in helping the council to manage the road network during severe weather by reporting any problems by calling 01225 3934041, emailing [email protected] or via Twitter @ccbathnes.