Cold start to winter brings record gritting of county's roads

PUBLISHED: 18:17 16 December 2008 | UPDATED: 13:48 06 May 2010

IN one of the coldest pre-Christmas winters since Herts County Council records began, gritting teams have been out a record 25 times this year already compared to just three times in the same period in 2007. On each outing the gritting lorries use a tota

IN one of the coldest pre-Christmas winters since Herts County Council records began, gritting teams have been out a record 25 times this year already compared to just three times in the same period in 2007.

On each outing the gritting lorries use a total of 300 tonnes of salt and already the highways department has used almost as much salt as in the whole of last winter and is having to restock.

Herts Highways salts the county's A and B roads, all bus routes and at least one road in and out of villages, industrial areas and shopping centres.

On each salting trip, the 58 gritters cover almost half the county's entire road network - more than1,500 miles - at a cost per run of £30,000.The decision on when to grit is based on information from up-to-the-minute weather forecasts and 12 roadside weather-reporting stations linked to computers. All the gritters use GPS-positioning technology so they can be tracked at any time and the roads already salted can be identified.

The county also has 800 "self-service" salt bins at known trouble spots like steep hills which are outside the normal salting routes.

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