Gritters keeping city roads safe and free flowing

Residents / 01 Mar 2018

Peterborough Highway Services are actively working to keep the city's roads safe and free flowing under continued challenging weather conditions. 

Motorists are being asked to be mindful that with the current low temperatures, salt becomes less effective and when temperatures drop lower than minus seven degrees the effectiveness of salt is severely reduced.

Salt is not a ‘Magic Dust’ and motorists should drive to the conditions even on treated roads. We urge the public to drive to the conditions and make their own assessment of whether a journey is absolutely necessary.  If you do choose to travel, make sure your vehicle has plenty of fuel and you have sufficient supplies including a fully charged mobile phone.  

Andy Tatt, Head of Highway Services at Peterborough City Council, said: “Since the 'Beast from the East' hit this week, we've worked 24/7 carrying out 11 grit runs. This takes five gritters three hours each run covering 438km of roads, which is 46 per cent of our road network. 


"Since Saturday we've covered 4,818km of Peterborough's main routes as well as gritted car parks and a number of pedestrian routes and footbridges. We have also used approximately 180 tonnes of rock salt.

“You may not see gritters on the road very often, this is because the gritting runs are very often completed at night. If snow is forecast the gritting network will be pre-salted. For the salt to be most effective vehicles need to drive over it at a regular or near constant rate, salt on it's own will not keep the road clear.  

"This is why the roads are often worst in the mornings after snow overnight because they haven't had the required traffic volumes to make the salt work. If there are large amounts of snow then a snow plough can be used to clear the majority of the snow.”

The winter maintenance season runs from 1st October to 30th April. So far this year Peterborough Highway Services have completed 85 gritting runs and used approximately 2,500 tonnes of rock salt.  Focus is on keeping the main road network accessible and this includes link roads between villages and bus routes.

The recent need for highway maintenance highlights the importance of government funding to enable the council to provide vital services. In light of recent funding cuts, the council launched its 'Stand up for Peterborough' campaign asking people to pledge their support to ensure we can continue to provide such services.