As the temperature begins to drop, Peterborough City Council’s fleet of gritters is on standby to keep more than 430km of roads clear and safe for traffic.
With gritting season underway, there are 3,000 tonnes of salt stored at the city’s new salt barn in Fengate ready for the team of six gritters to treat Peterborough’s roads.
The team is called out when road surface temperatures are forecast to drop below zero degrees Celsius. During last year’s gritting season 51 runs were completed, with around the same number expected this year as the weather this side of Christmas is predicted to be similar.
The gritting fleet is looked after by Peterborough Highways Services, a 10-year partnership between Peterborough City Council and Skanska for the provision of highway maintenance services.
The fleet was replaced in 2015, with five gritters already having been named. Two were named in tribute to long-serving former city councillor Charles Swift and his wife Brenda, with year 3 youngsters at Southfields Primary School in Stanground coming up with ‘The Ice Destroyer’, ‘Salty’ and ‘Salternator’ for a further three.
Councillor Peter Hiller, cabinet member for growth, planning, housing and economic development, said: “Our fleet of gritters play a vital role in keeping the city’s roads moving in the winter months, with the majority of treatments carried out in the early hours ready for the morning rush hour.
“As a city we invest heavily in the environment and in driving efficiencies in the services we deliver to our residents. Our partnership with Skanska allows us to benefit from the latest vehicles which offer improved fuel usage efficiency and lower CO2 emissions, as well as to adopt innovative ways of working.
“Since the beginning of our partnership, we have adopted the use of pre-wetted salt which works faster and at lower temperatures than dry salt, with less waste. This saves money and is better for the environment. Storing the salt in large quantities also results in a cost saving as well as ensuring we have enough to last until the end of the gritting season in April.”
For information on winter maintenance and gritting, there is a Q&A on the city council's website.