Gritters already being prepared for a cold Melton winter

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With the glorious summer showing no signs of abating preparations are already starting for the winter freeze.

Leicestershire County Council accepted its first delivery of grit last month as it looks to build up salt levels to more than 18,000 tonnes - the weight of 40 Boeing 747-8f aeroplanes - in preparation for icy conditions that lie ahead.

From now until November, around eight loads of grit will arrive every day at its barns in Melton, Misterton, Mountsorrel, Market Harborough and Nailstone.

Councillor Blake Pain, cabinet member for environment and transport, said: “We may still be enjoying summer, but we have to plan ahead.

“We grit 45 per cent of the county’s roads when the weather takes a turn for the worse, so we need to make sure that we are stocked up in case we are called upon.

“Throughout the winter we will monitor the amount of grit we have and re-order more if necessary.”

During the most recent winter, the council’s 21 gritters went out on 109 occasions to keep the roads clear, depositing 20,000 tonnes of grit on county roads.