`

Over 280 Derbyshire routes gritted during the weekend, county council reveals

Derbyshire County Council said its fleet of gritters were out around the clock over the weekend.
Derbyshire County Council said its fleet of gritters were out around the clock over the weekend.

More than 280 Derbyshire routes were gritted during the weekend snowfall, the county council has revealed.

The authority said that between Friday and Sunday 287 routes were gritted, with the hardest hits part of the county for snow including the south west and north west.

This winter the council started with more than 27,000 tonnes of salt – usually referred to as grit and during the weekend 2,000 tonnes were spread, the equivalent of more than 100 large lorry loads. Around 23,500 are currently stockpiled for future bad weather.

The council said its fleet of 36 gritters, all of which are fitted with snow ploughs, were on the roads around the clock, salting 26 primary and 22 secondary routes.

The authority is responsible for looking after 3,500 miles of roads and grits around 1,500 miles – 1,000 on primary routes and around 500 on secondary.

Volunteers also helped clear snow and ice from pavements and footpaths, and put down grit in their local communities, as part of the council’s snow warden scheme.

Almost 50 farmers and other contractors – paid by the council – also helped clear snow, generally in rural areas.

Councillor Simon Spencer, Derbyshire County Council Cabinet Member for Highways, Transport and Infrastructure, said: “Our gritter drivers – working in 12 hour shifts, have been working tirelessly in challenging conditions and often unseen by the public, to keep the county safe and moving.”

Councillor Spencer added: “It’s not realistic to grit every single road which is why we target our gritting on the roads that benefit the greatest number of people and the most important services. This is also why we work closely with local communities to help out in the areas where it is not practical for us to reach.”

Councillor Spencer said: “While more snow is not immediately expected road surface temperatures are expected to remain below freezing and could dip to as low as -7C in parts of the county overnight. This means that ice could be an issue on the roads, even those that have been gritted, as grit is less effective at temperatures below -5C, so I urge motorists to take extra care.

“Drivers should make sure their vehicles are well-maintained and they are well-prepared for their journeys with adequate clothing, food and drink and it’s a good idea to carry a shovel.”

Councillor Spencer added: “I’d also ask that motorists park considerately, so that gritters can complete their runs and emergency vehicles can continue to pass.”

Major roads – known as primary routes – are gritted during the day and night when necessary and are pre-gritted before bad weather hits. These include A roads, heavily-used B roads, key bus routes, roads linking towns and larger villages and roads outside bus, train, police, fire, ambulance stations and hospitals.

Secondary routes may be treated before adverse weather hits. These can include bus routes in residential areas and well-used main roads through housing estates and villages, and roads in smaller villages.

The decision to grit is taken by the council’s team of weather action officers who monitor detailed weather data.

There are 803 grit bins across Derbyshire, plus 1,250 owned by town and parish councils.

Details of gritting routes, including when the route was last treated can be found on our dedicated winter weather pages at www.derbyshire.gov.uk/snow. The pages also give details of grit bin locations.