With more than 42,000 tonnes of salt in stock, a fleet of vehicles on standby and hundreds of salt bins in place, County Durham is ready for winter.
Preparations for the cold weather have been underway for some time but Durham County Council’s winter maintenance programme for 2016/17 is now all set.
The budget for this year’s programme is £5.2m, which will once again enable the council to treat 1,700km of roads during normal winter conditions.
Representing 45% of the network, these roads are known as priority 1 are mainly A and B roads, bus routes and locations where there are known to be specific problems.
While more minor routes are not normally treated during normal winter conditions, in times of prolonged bad weather a secondary network of priority 2 routes will be treated when resources are available.
Gritting is carried out by a fleet of more than 70 vehicles including 37 large power gritters, 33 trailer gritters and six snow blowers.
The council also has access to a network of local farmers who are able to help clear roads in rural areas if required.
Meanwhile, residents around the county have access to more than 2,300 salt bins to treat local roads and pavements when needed.
Cllr Brian Stephens, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for neighbourhoods and local partnerships, said: “With the weather now turning cold, it’s important that we are ready for the drop in temperature.
“Our overall aim is to keep the county moving whatever the weather so that people can get to where they need to be and access any services they require.”
This year, members of the public can track the gritters as they make their way around the county’s roads using an online map. Tracking devices on-board the gritters enable the map to be updated when gritting is complete on each route.
Problems with roads and footpaths can be reported by calling 03000 261 000.