Preparations for winter well under way
Telford’s salt stores are topped up and the borough’s 670 grit bins filled as part of Telford & Wrekin Council’s winter preparations.
Telford and Wrekin's gritters have been mobilised for the first time this week as road temperatures dropped to minus two and will go out whenever frost or ice is forecast over the coming months.
The Council’s winter duty officer carefully follows MetDesk weather forecasts and anticipated road surface temperatures at lunch times and again in the evening daily, and these forecasts coupled with information from the local Crudgington weather station inform decisions on if gritting is needed. Ongoing road inspections are also carried out to assess road conditions.
When out, gritters routinely treat over 400 kilometres of roads, including bus routes and access roads for emergency services, schools, industrial estates and villages. The council’s volunteer Snow Wardens also help out in local communities.
Councillor Hilda Rhodes, Telford & Wrekin Council’s cabinet member for transport, said: “Last winter was pretty harsh, with more than our fair share of snow. Fingers crossed we won’t be hit by another ‘Beast from the East’, but we are fully prepared for keeping the roads moving whatever the weather.
“Crews have been out checking and topping up the hundreds of local grit bins across the borough and we are rallying our Snow Wardens so that they are ready to lend a hand if needed. The work they do is invaluable and very much appreciated, particularly by our older and more vulnerable residents.
“If anyone would like to find out about becoming a Snow Warden in their area, then please do get in touch.”
For details of where and when the Council grits, location of grit bins, school closures in the event of snow, advice on winter road safety and how to become a Snow Warden visit www.telford.gov.uk/winter.
Did you know?
- 6,355 tonnes of grit were used in Telford and Wrekin last winter
- 113 was the number of times gritter crews went out last winter
- Coldest recorded temperature was minus 13 in Shawbury in December 2017
- Coldest recorded Road Surface Temperature was minus 7.6 - Crudgington on 9 December 2017
- Coldest recorded Air Temperature was minus 11.2 - Crudgington on 9 December 2017
- Oddly, road surface temperatures can be as much as 4 degrees lower than surrounding air temperatures, which can lead to ice on the surface – this is why you will sometimes see the gritters out when air temperatures are above freezing
- December 2017 saw the biggest snowfall accumulation since March 2013 and in just two days, over 20cm of snow accumulated in places
- Double – the Council’s winter budget is usually around £400,000, but last winter was so prolonged, it cost almost double that
- This winter, the gritters have already been out. The last time crews had to grit in October was in 2012, which ended up having several snow events; two in January, one in February and one in March which continued for two weeks, including over Easter and into April
- Grit bins - in 2012/13, there were 591 grit bins across the borough. Today there are 670. Last winter saw a record number of teams from multiple contractors filling grit bins across the borough
- As well as individual volunteers, schools, businesses and community groups can apply to be volunteer Snow Wardens in their communities
- Some local farmers are also on 24-hour standby to help if needed