Improving our roads, Transport

Council’s new fleet of gritters ready to tackle severe weather

Surrey County Council has a new fleet of gritters equipped with the latest technology ready to keep motorists moving in severe winter weather.

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The 24 new vehicles* are ready to hit the road as part of the council’s pool of 40-plus gritters loaded with some of the 17,000 tonnes of salt stockpiled at depots across Surrey.

Each is equipped with a device to monitor gritting throughout Surrey on a minute-by-minute basis**.

In addition, the trucks are fitted with technology that involves using a brine solution on the salt to help it work quicker on roads.

An extra 110 miles of road will be regularly treated this winter. This equals nearly 5,300 extra miles of gritting runs across an average winter.

Surrey County Council’s Cabinet Member for Transport and Environment Ian Lake said: “We’ve been planning for months to help keep Surrey’s road network moving in ice and snow. Our salt barns are full, we have new gritters equipped with the latest technology and they’re ready to hit the roads in bad weather.

“Our gritting teams do great work to keep Surrey moving in bad weather and they often work through the night. However, our gritters can’t cover every road, which is why it’s important residents use grit bins to treat their local roads and pavements for the benefit of the community.”

The gritting operation is part of a range of measures to tackle severe weather this winter. Surrey’s 17,000-tonne stockpile of salt is 4,000 more than last year.

Fifteen more farmers with ploughs have also joined the snow-clearing operation to take the total to 50.

And the amount of grit available for borough and district councils to spread in town centres has been doubled to 40 tonnes each.

Ends

For more information, please contact senior media relations officer Kevin Richardson on 0208 5417 259  or email james.oxley@surreycc.gov.uk.

More photographs can be found at http://www.flickr.com/photos/surreynews/

* Provided by the council’s new contractor May Gurney.

** The system monitors how much salt is being spread, the rate it is being used and on which roads. The council’s gritters have been equipped with the same technology.

Note for editors

The council has launched a twitter feed in partnership with BBC Surrey to provide residents with updates on gritting activity, roadworks, road closures and traffic information. It can be found @surreytravel.

More information on winter preparations can be found at www.surreycc.gov.uk/highwaysinfo.

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