Gritty stuff as cold nights draw in

The first time I noticed ice on my windscreen this morning, and I went out with gloves! It’s autumn.

From Cornwall Council:

As the nights drew in and the temperature dropped this weekend, Cornwall Council’s gritters were out in force ready and prepared to keep motorists moving this winter.

The gritting crews went out for the first time this weekend as road surface temperatures hit below zero. Our first runs last year were carried out in early November, with final gritting carried out on the last day of March.

During the severe weather last winter, gritting crews covered 75,000 miles of road – more than three times around the globe – and used around 14,000 tonnes of salt to help keep Cornwall’s roads moving as freely as possible.

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A fleet of 25 gritters is on permanent stand-by from now until next spring, ready to roll as soon as road surface temperatures are forecast to drop.

Working with road sensors and weather experts, the crews aim to have roads gritted at least an hour before road temperatures reach freezing point.

Last winter, 20% of the roads in Cornwall were regularly gritted along  25 routes. These roads carry 80% of the traffic and include access to hospitals, secondary schools and bus stations.

Councillor Geoff Brown, the portfolio holder for transport, said: “Keeping Cornwall moving through the winter is critical to our economy, especially as we really never know what the weather will be. This weekend was a case in point – we all felt the chill!

“While we often enjoy milder winters than the rest of the country, but we can still experience cold conditions. That’s why we make sure we’re prepared for anything. Our salt is already stockpiled and we’re ready to go out at a moment’s notice, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“Our gritting crews, which are delivered by Cormac, are out gritting in the early hours of the morning while most of us are asleep to make sure our journeys are safer. We’re as ready as we can be for whatever winter might throw at us this year.”

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Councillor Brown also asked drivers to ensure they and their vehicles are also prepared for winter.

“Before you set out, check your vehicle, the road conditions and the weather forecast. If conditions are poor, and journeys are not essential, consider waiting until the weather gets better – this should improve journeys, and give our gritters a chance to treat the roads.”

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