Winter is coming - but Hertfordshire’s roads are ready.
As of Tuesday (October 1) the county council’s fleet of 58 gritters are on standby, ready to salt the county’s roads when freezing weather approaches.
Gritter crews from highways contractor Ringway will be ready around the clock to cover nearly half of Hertfordshire’s entire road network – more than 1,500 miles (2,500km), or the equivalent of salting from Hertford to Berlin and back.
Cllr Phil Bibby, cabinet member for highways, said: “October is the beginning of our winter season, and we make sure our gritters are ready, our salt stocks are high and that county’s 1,000-plus salt bins are topped up. Our crews will be on standby 24 hours a day until April, ready to deal with whatever the weather throws at us.
“We don’t know how much, if any, snow and ice we’ll see this winter but, with a cold winter forecast, I am confident that our highways teams are ready, and we will do everything we can to keep the county’s roads open and safe, whatever the weather.”
Bosses end out our gritters when road surface temperatures are forecast to be 0.5°c, or below.
They will then grit roads to schools, care homes, doctor’s surgeries, key pharmacies and libraries, as well as all the county’s A and B roads, bus routes (including school bus routes), roads with a 10 per cent gradient or steeper, and at least one route into every village.
Salt is provided to schools if they request it, to help them stay open during icy weather, as well as to district, borough, parish and town councils on request, .
Community groups and residents associations can also access free gritting salt; last year 230 local groups took advantage of this. Application forms can be found at www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/applyforsalt and must be received by the county council by October 31.
For more information about Hertfordshire County Council’s winter service programme or, to receive real-time updates direct to your computer or mobile phone, visit www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/salting and follow the ‘salting decisions’ link. You can also find information on how to clear snow and ice yourself.
You can also find out the latest salting decisions on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Herts_Highways
To see a map of all the routes that bosses salt, visit https://hertfordshire.roadworks.org and select ‘Winter gritting routes’ from the ‘Driver Information’ menu.