Plans to keep County Durham moving during winter weather have been agreed.
Durham County Council reviews and updates its winter maintenance plan, which sets out how it will deal with snow and icy conditions on the county’s roads, every year.
Work is already underway to ensure adequate salt stocks and salt bins are in place throughout the county and the council’s fleet of specialist vehicles, including a number of additional ‘on-call’ tractor ploughs, are on stand-by.
John Reed, head of technical services at Durham County Council, said: “We are already putting in place measures to ensure that we are as prepared as we possibly can be for any winter weather.
“We have stocked up our salt supplies and we have already had our gritters out and about in the last couple of weeks.
“We will be targeting key routes, including most major roads and bus routes, as well as areas where we know there have been problems in the past.
“Our priority will be to keep people moving and to minimise delays on the county’s roads.”
In preparation for the winter, the council will have the following in place:
● more than 42,000 tonnes of salt in our salt barns ready for use;
● 37 gritters – 10 of which were new last year – fitted with the latest technology in salting and ice prevention as well as snow ploughs;
● contract arrangements to use an additional 70 tractor ploughs if required;
● 2,500 salt bins in various locations are being filled so that residents can help to clear areas around their homes.
The council treats around 45% of the county’s road network under normal winter weather conditions. These priority routes typically include all A roads, most B roads, most bus routes and other locations which are known to be problem areas.
During an average winter the council will treat the priority road network between 80 and 100 times.
In times of prolonged severe weather the council will clear more minor roads providing resources are available.
Footpaths are not usually treated during normal overnight frosty conditions. However, following heavy snowfall the county council will try to clear footpaths in priority areas, such as town centres, busy shopping centres, hospitals, health centres, doctors’ surgeries and care homes.
Further information about Durham County Council’s winter maintenance plan can be found at www.durham.gov.uk/winterroads
To report any problems on the county’s roads people should contact the council’s Highways Action Line on 03000 26 1000.