Proposed Winter Service changes 2018 to 2019

A review of the Winter Services, now complete, has identified a number of necessary changes and reductions to the Service commencing in October 2018.

Plans showing the proposed revised gritting network for both the precautionary and adverse gritting routes are now available:

For your information, gritting is undertaken on the precautionary gritting routes whenever there is a forecast temperature of plus 0.5° in the 24 hour forecast period (midday to midday) and will take priority under snow conditions. The Adverse network is pre-treated during daytime hours in advance of a high confidence forecast for snow or when the forecast temperatures are not forecast to rise above zero for 48 hours.

Precautionary and adverse gritting

  • the precautionary gritting network has been assessed and, as of Winter 2018, the total length of roads gritted will be reduced from 1954km to 1543km (reduction of 21%)
  • the gritting fleet will be reduced from 26 to 19 vehicles
  • maximum salt stock will be reduced from 9,500t to 7,500t (with reduced minimum stock levels this will allow a greater quantity to be purchased at summer rates)
  • the reduced network will provide the ability to operate 24 hours a day during snow conditions, while also ensuring drivers have adequate rest periods
  • all of the roads which have been removed from the precautionary priority network for Winter 2018 have been added to the adverse gritting network
  • during snow events, roads will be cleared by local farmers and other supply chain partners with the correct equipment under supervision of the severe weather manager
  • time taken to undertake gritting actions will be changed from 3 hours to 3.5 hours

Grit bins

There are currently 1,973 grit bins on the network. All grit bins have been assessed according to the scoring matrix and, approximately, 500 do not meet the current criteria. It is proposed that these 500 grit bins will either be removed or, where appropriate arrangements are agreed, for these to be left in situ for the community to maintain and replenish. In addition we are proposing the scoring matrix is tightened for any new requests going forward.

All grit bins on the network which meet the criteria will be filled prior to the winter season. Refills will only be made when requested via Street Doctor and will only be filled when resources are available.

Priority footway winter services

In the recent years Ice-blast (a clear liquid de-icer) has been used to treat the priority footways prior to a forecast of snow falling. Going forward we will be reverting to a mixture of sand and salt for all footway treatment, this will still be completed during the night, to have least impact on the town centres during the daytime and this will be completed using basic equipment.

Further information 

The necessary policy changes will form part of a Cabinet report before the commencement of the winter season in October.   

Any comments and queries should be sent to:

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