Gritters make their first runs as temperatures fall in Leicestershire

Gritting drivers were out making Leicestershire’s roads safer last night (Wednesday) for the first time this winter.

Thursday, 4th November 2021, 3:42 pm
Councillor Ozzie O'Shea at one of Leicestershire County Council's grit barns as the winter gritting programme gets underway EMN-210411-152217001

With temperatures dropping, the county council gritters are on alert now to make regular runs, with 11,000 tonnes of salt already stored in barns at Melton, Misterton, Mountsorrel, Market Harborough and Nailstone and more to be delivered over the coming weeks.

Teams will be deployed wherever there is a likelihood of frost, ice or snow affecting roads - last year they carried out 77 runs along the county’s 17 routes, using a whopping 12,377 tonnes of salt to keep the roads safe.

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

Councillor Ozzy O’Shea, cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “We are well-prepared to tackle the winter weather and will do all we can to minimise any potential disruption caused by snow, ice or frost.

“We monitor the weather constantly and if freezing temperatures are forecast, our fleet of gritters are ready to treat major roads and key routes, which make up around 47 per cent of the county’s road network.”

A full gritting run by the team, who have 23 gritters at their disposal, covers 47 per cent of the county’s road network and takes between four and five hours.

Footpaths are not gritted by the county council, but the 757 salt bins across Leicestershire can be used by members of the public to treat public roads or footpaths. Salt from these bins should not be used on private property.