Gritters will keep the county moving whatever the weather
Column by Coun Richard Davies, executive member for highways
It’s that time of year again when the nights draw in and the temperatures begin to plummet.
And Lincolnshire’s gritters are again on call 24/7 until April to keep the county moving whatever the weather.
When temperatures fall below 10C, our gritters treat every A and B road in the county – that’s nearly 2,000 miles of highway. All the main roads in and around Grantham are covered, including Harlaxton Road, Londonthorpe Lane, Harrowby Lane, Belton Lane and Grantham Road
While it’s impossible for us to grit every road, we aim to provide a safe route to and from every town and village.
And we ensure there’s at least one clear road within 500m of all train and bus stations, hospitals and schools, including Kesteven and Grantham Girls’ School, The King’s School and Priory Ruskin Academy.
Meanwhile, the Highways Agency is responsible for gritting all trunk roads in Lincolnshire, including on the A1 and the A52 Grantham to Nottingham. Unfortunately, we do not have the resources to routinely grit or salt footpaths. However, during severe weather, we work closely with local organisations to clear some steep and well-used pavements.
Preparations for this year’s gritting operations got underway during the summer, with the council stockpiling around 26,000 tonnes of salt. Fresh supplies will be brought in as and when needed.
We have a fleet of 43 gritters, with six of these based at our Ancaster depot to cover Grantham and the surrounding area. And they are often out on the roads in the early hours of the morning when the rest of us are still in bed.
It’s been a relatively mild winter so far, with the grittershaving made eight runs since the start of the season. An
average countywide gritting run costs around £20,000, dependant on temperatures and conditions, and will use up around 200 tonnes of salt.
However, please remember that even treated roads can be hazardous, so do take care and drive to the conditions. Not only does it take time for the salt to take effect, but high winds or sudden rain can take it off the road. And if the road surface temperature drops to below -7°C, gritting becomes much less effective, and below -150C doesn’t work at all.
You can find more information about gritting, including a map of treated routes and winter driving advice, by visiting www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/winterweather And you can stay up-to-date on our activities by following @LincsCC_Roads on Twitter.