MORE than 150,000 miles have been covered by Worcestershire Highways gritting crews – a distance equal to six times around the world – so far this winter in the effort to keep roads open and people moving.
This winter has proved to be one of the most challenging yet with temperatures regularly plummeting below zero.
The County Council’s gritting teams have covered 150,579 miles in total, heading out 57 times during the 2017/18 winter season so far. This is up 18 times on last year. In addition, this year snow ploughs have been sent out five times during significant periods of snowfall of up to 14 inches of snow, with drifting at its worst of 8-10 feet.
Jon Fraser, from Worcestershire County Council Highways, said: “Our gritting teams are being put to the test with one of coldest winters for some time. So far they have risen to the challenge every time.
“We are extremely grateful to our drivers and members of staff, who have done their upmost and gone out in hazardous conditions, so that our roads are accessible and as safe as possible. The season isn’t over yet and there still might be need to call on them again.
“Teams will officially stand down in April when they will be continuing their work and carrying out essential maintenance.”
Worcestershire’s fleet of more than 30 gritting vehicles are all equipped with the latest technology, including spread-rate calculators that work on road temperatures to ensure the correct amounts of salt are used.
In addition, pre-wet salt treated with brine solution is used across the service which reduces waste and works more quickly when spread.