Gritters have salted more than 100,000 miles of roads to help keep Essex moving during a busy winter.
The figures were released this week as winter officially ended for Essex Highways’ hard-working gritter crews.
Drivers were called out 55 times this year (47 last year), with more runs needed further west than in our southern “Thames” area.
Up to 62 gritting lorries go out for each separate countywide salting operation, spreading some 14,554 tonnes (13,400 last year) over the 2,000 miles of Essex’s priority roads during the winter.
Andrew Cook, Essex County Council Director for Highways and Transportation, said: “I want to pay tribute to our hard-working gritter crews who deserve a good rest after a busy winter.
“Many had to suspend New Year’s celebrations and hold off on enjoying leftovers on Boxing Day to help keep Essex moving.
“After a busy festive period, Essex had a period of intense cold in January into February so we had to grit the roads every night from 12-26 January.
“We are not complacent and will be ready if a late cold snap does hit.
“In the meantime, Gritney Spears, Alexander the Grit and our other gritters will now be parked up for the summer; but we will re-deploy our gritter crews to help fix potholes, install streetlights and improve our highways for Essex residents.”
The Highways winter team uses accurate localised weather forecasting, relying on nine weather stations and many roadside sensors, to decide when and where to salt the highways and how much to spread. Road surface temperatures can vary significantly from air temperature.
The gritting crews are back on-call again from Monday, 23 October 2017.