Councils ready for winter, LGA survey shows

Highways Reporters

Almost half of councils are at the limit of storage capacity when it comes to storing grit in readiness for winter.

The Local Government Association's (LGA) annual Winter Readiness Survey shows that councils are well prepared for plummeting temperatures with a substantial stock of grit.

Gritters will be out treating thousands of miles of roads whenever overnight temperatures drop below zero in the coming days.

The survey also shows more than 80% of councils have placed community grit bins for residents to access salt for pavements and side streets and 75% are using state-of-the-art GPS technology on the gritting fleets.

Social media will also continue to be an important tool for councils communicating with residents with 97% of councils using Twitter accounts to keep people up-to-date with weather forecasts, road conditions and gritting activity.

Cllr Martin Tett, LGA transport spokesman, said: "Councils are fully prepared to protect residents and minimise disruption to their residents caused by the drop in temperatures.

"They are constantly monitoring up-to-the-minute weather reports to make sure they can stay one step ahead of the weather. We are well prepared for the cold with 1.2 million tonnes of salt stockpiled and a fleet of state-of-the-art gritters ready to be deployed.

"As well as gritting our roads and clearing snow, council teams are ready to be drafted in to help provide a variety of services to ensure we are looking out for the more vulnerable members of our communities this winter, from carrying out emergency household repairs to delivering hot meals and portable heaters.

"Councils will treat as many roads as possible during the cold snap and have also filled thousands of community grit bins and recruited volunteers to help people clear pavements, paths and side streets when needed.

"Local authorities will be constantly updating websites with information on weather, gritting routes, road conditions, school closures and bin collections, and many councils also have gritter Twitter feeds and Facebook pages detailing the latest developments."
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