It is official summer is here : Somerset gritters stand down after busy season

By Susie Watkins

13th May 2022 | Local News

The sun is out the gritters are not
The sun is out the gritters are not

Somerset County Council's gritting teams are packing up for the season after travelling the equivalent of nearly two times around the world this winter.

The fleet of 23 gritters were needed on 59 occasions when freezing temperatures were forecast, treating around 900 miles of road each time to help prevent ice forming with 1181 route actions in total.

The team covered 45,000 miles during the 2021/22 season, with the lowest road temperature recorded at -5.3 degrees in the Exmoor region on 20 January 2022.

During the season, more than 5,200 tonnes of salt was used – with additional salt ordered to maintain stock levels. The season was extended by one week due to recent unseasonably cold weather.

Furthermore, three weather stations were replaced as the council continues to invest in infrastructure to support more accurate weather forecasting and decision-making. In addition, the council invested in four new snow blowers and 20 snow ploughs to replace our oldest inventory.

Interim Economic and Community Infrastructure Deputy Director at Somerset County Council, David Carter, said: "Season after season, our gritting teams work around the clock to ensure our road network is safe.

"Our 100-plus team are a cohesive unit and constantly deliver in going to the extra mile to ensure people can travel safely – especially for essential journeys for our key workers and emergency services.

"I'd like to thank them on a job well done."

To read about a typical day in the life of a gritter driver, please visit: https://somersetnewsroom.com/2016/01/15/a-day-in-the-life-of-a-gritter-driver/

You can also find out more about Somerset County Council's winter maintenance programme, including maps of all the roads treated, at www.travelsomerset.co.uk/gritting

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