Technology will be at the forefront of the fight against ice and snow this winter, following a decision by councillors.
Gritters equipped with GPS trackers, thermal mapping of salting routes and smart grit bins are all part of the plans to keep Surrey moving in bad weather.
The use of GPS will allow the council to monitor the exact location of its fleet of 39 gritting lorries, featuring 16 new vehicles, while providing up to date information on which roads have been gritted.
The gritters will be ready to take action 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They will be supported by a quad bike, an all terrain vehicle and an army of 51 farmers equipped with spreaders and ploughs.
Thermal maps of all Surrey’s salting routes will show which roads are more at risk of icing up, due to their topography, traffic use and construction materials. The decision to treat roads will be based on this, as well as Surrey specific weather forecasts and ice prediction systems using information from roadside weather stations.
Surrey County Council’s Cabinet agreed the winter plans at a meeting on Tuesday 25 September. This included voting in favour of a recommendation to fit all the county council’s 1,741 grit bins with barcodes which, through a computer system, will reveal exactly when each bin was last filled, providing more accurate information on when they will need topping up.
John Furey, Surrey County Council’s Cabinet Member for Transport and Environment, said: “We’ll be combining the use of technology with a lot of good old fashioned hard work to help keep Surrey moving during winter weather. But the truth is we can’t do everything, which is why we’ll be working with borough and district councils, as well as residents to minimise the impact of ice and snow.”
Salt deliveries over the coming weeks will take Surrey’s stocks to 16,000 tonnes, which will be stored at depots across the county. They will be replenished regularly throughout the winter through a deal with the Salt Union.
Media requiring more information can contact Surrey County Council senior media relations officer James Oxley at firstname.lastname@example.org.