Our sensational gritting team!
Bury Council’s gritting team has already been in action 14 times this winter – and, with icy conditions forecast for the weekend, that number is sure to rise.
Decisions to grit, or not grit, are based on the Open Road Winter Forecast Service provided by the Met Office. There are 16 drivers and four duty officers on a rota throughout the season with each driver on standby for four nights, followed by 12 nights off. All drivers have been fully briefed and hold the Winter Service City and Guilds qualification.
In preparation for severe weather, Bury Council has a stock of 2,500 tonnes of Safecote treated salt which is stored at Bolton Council’s depot to improve opportunities for sharing resources should the need arise. Safecote salt, which is coated with molasses, is used because it sticks to the road surface better and is less corrosive.
All the gritting vehicles have been serviced and around 324 salt bins have also been re-stocked by street cleansing teams. These are in place at known trouble spots across the borough, such as where there are sharp bends or steep inclines and where historically snow and ice have caused serious problems.
Councillor Alan Quinn, cabinet member for the environment, said: “Our winter service team is ready for any cold snap that comes our way and the service runs right the way through the night when conditions demand it. We have a dedicated team that does a great job to help keep Bury on the move during the winter months.
“It takes around five hours with four vehicles to spread, on average, around 20 tonnes of salt per grit run across 295 roads and streets which cover 200 km across the borough.
“Residents need to be mindful that we can only treat the roads on our gritting routes – we cannot grit roads on request as our efforts must be concentrated on keeping the main roads clear. We also don’t have any extra salt bins and the salt we provide in them is not for private use. For private driveways residents should purchase their own salt.”
Bury Council has a fleet of five gritting wagons, four in regular use and one on standby. When the full winter service is in operation treatment is provided to all roads on the gritting routes. During periods of prolonged severe weather it is sometimes necessary to reduce the routes to essential routes only, in order to conserve salt stocks.
Essential routes are those which provide access through the borough, help maintain movement across the country nationally, while locally maintaining access to critical services such as hospitals, ambulance stations and key points in the food and fuel distribution networks.
For more information about the winter service, including a list of treated roads and streets, salt bin locations and advice on clearing ice and snow from pavements, visit www.bury.gov.uk/gritting.
In the event that severe ice or snow delays bin collections, advice will be posted online at www.bury.gov.uk/bincollections.
For all the latest updates and alerts from Bury Council follow @burycouncil on Twitter.