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A new fleet of gritters are heading out on roads across North Somerset as the winter maintenance programme gets underway. Six gritters, which have been named after local places by residents, are on standby round the clock to go out and treat roads to keep the area moving.

Six gritters, which have been named after local places by residents, are on standby round the clock to go out and treat roads to keep the area moving.

Weston-scooper-Mare, Burrrrrington, Portispread, Nailski, Sleetholm and Bleadon-cold were named following a poll on the council’s Travel and Roads Facebook page.

The gritter names were unveiled on Monday (19 November) when each vehicle received their vinyl name sticker.

Cllr Elfan Ap Rees, deputy leader and executive member with responsibility for highways, said: “Our winter maintenance programme runs from the end of October through to the end of March but preparation starts as early as May when we review our operational plan and start considering how much salt we’ll need to treat our roads over the winter period.

“It’s nice to inject a sense of humour with the naming of the gritters, but once autumn arrives, our highways staff are on duty 24-hours-a day – including Christmas Day and New Year’s Day – to monitor weather conditions and let the gritter crews know when they’re needed. Our six gritter lorries are on round-the-clock standby and can be called out to grit main routes with just two hours’ notice.

“Our new fleet of gritters have been leased for five-years and now have sophisticated software to control how much salt is dispersed, where and how widely. This means the driver can concentrate on just driving, improving safety and allowing drivers who are unfamiliar with the route to still drive.”

Skanska, the council’s highways maintenance contractor, are responsible for delivering the winter maintenance programme.

Anne Roberts, Business Director at Skanska, explained: “When temperatures fall below zero we have to be ready to grit the roads at critical times during the day, particularly in the early hours of the morning and before the evening rush hour so routes are kept safe. To do this we have to start ordering and stockpiling the right amount of salt in advance of the winter.”

For more information about the council’s winter maintenance programme and to see the gritting routes visit www.n-somerset.gov.uk/winterroads or follow nstravelandroads on Facebook.

Press release by North Somerset Council.

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