Spreading investment across our roads
14 Dec 2016
As the county braces itself for winter, there’s some ‘grit’ news for drivers as Northumberland County Council has invested £1m updating its fleet of salt spreaders.
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With a total of 29 gritters covering thousands of miles each year, the authority has just bought seven state-of-the-art machines as part of its rolling fleet renewal.
With possible sleet and snow forcecast over the coming days, the public are reminded to take care when out and about as the gritting season gets into full swing.
Costing over £100,000 each, the hi-tech gritters help ensure the county stays open for business, whatever the weather.
Fitted with all-round cameras for real-time monitoring from base,
the cameras also provide a high level of operational safety. Other on board controls give the ability to change the amount and direction of salt being spread to account for differing road conditions.
The gritters are just one part of a major operation which swings into action during the colder months, involving over 100 staff, 36,000 tonnes of salt, 1,600 grit bins and more than 3,000 miles of roads.
Councillor Ian Swithenbank, Cabinet Member for Local Services, said: “With thousands of miles of roads in the county, our workforce is always well prepared to meet the challenges of winter weather.
“The geography of the county presents unique challenges where it can be snowing over the tops but bright sunshine at the coast.
“Thankfully we have access to some state-of-the-art equipment, from detailed weather forecasting software to road mounted cameras across the region giving us real-time information on weather conditions, so we can establish exactly where needs gritting and at what level.
“And these days all the gritters are fitted with tracking devices to ensure their location is known at all times – providing an extra level of safety especially for those working in more rural areas.”
“When we get bad weather it can really have an impact so we make sure our alerts page and the social media channels gives residents clear information.”
People can sign up to the council’s Twitter and Facebook channels for information on school closures, severe weather warnings, winter service information, service disruptions and