Salt barns across Herefordshire are fully stocked and the gritters are ready for action
Winter has arrived and Herefordshire Council’s highways team is keeping the county moving whatever the weather.
The council’s public realm contractor, Balfour Beatty Living Places, is monitoring conditions around-the-clock to ensure the county’s 15 priority routes are kept clear during extreme conditions.
Salt barns across the county are fully stocked and the gritters on standby to treat at least 600 miles of road every time ice is forecast.
Alongside the fleet of 16 frontline gritting vehicles and four snow blowers are two new quad bikes which are operated by a 30-strong team working during extreme conditions.
Balfour Beatty Living Place’s contract director, Dr Alasdair Macdonald, said:
“As temperatures have plummeted over recent weeks, we’ve been putting into practice our winter maintenance training to keep open more than 600 miles of priority routes which are chosen to maintain transport connections for as many communities as possible.”
Councillor Barry Durkin, Herefordshire Council’s Cabinet Member for Transport, Roads and Regulatory Services, added that road users also have a responsibility to be prepared:
"Weather conditions can change quickly and can make a significant difference to your normal driving experience. All routes can become treacherous, even once they have been salted. Rain can wash salt off the roads and, in very cold weather, even salting will not stop ice from forming.
“I would advise drivers to take extra care when driving on winter roads – avoid fast turns and sharp braking, use low-beam headlights to prevent glare and keep a respectful distance from the car in front. Whatever the weather condition, please take care on the roads."
Balfour Beatty Living Places receives detailed weather forecasts and sends the gritters out whenever road surface temperatures are predicted to drop and frost or ice is predicted.
Precautionary salting normally takes place in the early morning or evening but additional action may be required during extreme weather.
Balfour Beatty Living Places works with Highways England, and its contractor Keir, which has responsibility for trunk roads and motorways.
You can find the latest gritting route information on Twitter @HfdsStreets
In the case of extreme weather, road closures are listed on the Herefordshire Council website at www.herefordshire.gov.uk/roads and school closures and transport alerts are at www.herefordshire.gov.uk/schoolalerts