‘We’re geared up and ready for winter’ says county council as gritters are sent out

Leicestershire County Council
Leicestershire County Council

Gritters were out for the first time this winter on Tuesday night, treating a number of roads in Melton and across the county as the temperature fell.

And with the forecast of a cold snap due this weekend, a total of 17 gritters and more than 80 staff will be on standby to treat key route.

This year, the council’s grit barns are stocked up with 18,500 tonnes of grit – more than ever before – and enough to fill 13 Olympic-size swimming pools.

Councillor Peter Osborne, cabinet member for highways and transport at Leicestershire County Council, said: “With the colder months upon us, we are keen to minimise any potential disruption, and have been preparing for the winter season since the summer.

“We monitor the weather constantly and, if freezing temperatures are forecast, our fleet of gritters will treat major roads and key routes, which equate to almost half of the county’s road network.”

In addition to the gritters, there are also a number of snow wardens based in communities across the county who will grit paths, as well as farmers who during deep snow, fit ploughs to their tractors and assist the council in clearing roads.

The county council also has a team of volunteer 4x4 drivers who will be on hand to deliver hot meals to older people, as well as help carers and health visitors reach their patients if there is a heavy snowfall.

The council is also encouraging residents to prepare themselves for the cold season by following a few simple steps:

* Familiarise yourself with gritting routes and keep up to date with local weather

* Make sure you have your seasonal flu vaccination. Free vaccines are offered to people considered to be at risk of flu and you can find out more at www.nhs.uk/flu

* Keep​​ your home warm. Set the timer on your heating to come on before you get up and switch off when you go to bed. The NHS keep warm, keep well page provides advice on staying warm during winter. Visit: www.nhs.uk/staywell