Herefordshire Council and its partners, Balfour Beatty Living Places, are preparing to ensure the county’s highways network is ready for another winter

Herefordshire’s gritting teams are out and about performing their ‘dry run’ procedures before winter. These trial runs are a crucial part of the preparations to ensure the county is winter-ready for the cold weather ahead.

The gritters don’t spread any salt during these runs but they are a good way to test all the equipment and systems in place, whilst also helping the drivers familiarise themselves with priority routes throughout the county.

Cllr Barry Durkin, Cabinet Member Roads and Regulatory Services, said: “We have a robust winter maintenance policy in place once again this year to maintain transport connections for as many communities as possible. Conditions can change very quickly, so whatever the weather, we encourage people to please take care on the roads and pavements.”

Gritter lorry and grit

Simon Robinson, Operations Manager for Balfour Beatty Living Places in Herefordshire said: “Alongside Herefordshire Council, we provide a winter maintenance service every year which covers 1,000 miles of the county’s local road network. Last winter, our dedicated team completed 81 gritting treatments, most of which were carried out overnight to prevent ice forming when temperatures drop to their lowest.

“Our service includes salting the roads with grit, as well as refilling thousands of grit bins. We also have snow ploughs ready for action as and when they are needed, to help ensure the roads remain accessible for all during adverse weather conditions.”

The team have been monitoring temperatures ahead of the winter season and from the end of October, with a fleet of 15 frontline gritters on standby 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, until the end of March 2024. They will be ready to grit any time of day or night to ensure roads are safe and accessible for all road users in order to keep the county moving.

To find out the latest information about gritting in your area, make sure to follow the Highways team on Facebook at ‘Herefordshire Highways’ and on Twitter @HfdsStreets.

Cllr Durkin added: “Flooding can also be a significant problem during the winter months, so I would urge residents and road users to familiarise themselves with the flood advice on the council website, and always put their safety first when threatened by floods.”

For more information about the support and services on offer this winter, please visit our website.

Published: 2nd November 2023