Council's highways team show true grit during cold snap
As winter begins to bite across the country, St Helens Borough Council's highways maintenance team have come in for praise after dealing with the current cold snap to keep the local road network running safely.
Article date: 13 December 2022
Since Monday last week, the team has carried out a number of gritting operations, with more scheduled when needed - resulting in more than 450 tonnes of rock salt laid along the borough's primary routes which includes bus routes, emergency service areas, as well as roads on significant hills and known trouble spots.
From now until the first week in April 2023, the council could carry out as many as 90 gritting runs across seven of its key routes, covering nearly 40 per cent of its 780km carriageway network.
Once the priority network of roads is clear, action may then be taken on minor routes in the event of extreme and prolonged icy conditions - while grit bins in residential areas will also be refilled by the council.
In addition to their normal day duties, the winter gritting team work around the clock - monitoring weather patterns and use specialised data collected from the borough's road sensors to know when gritting is needed and how much is required to keep the borough's roads open, based on the best evidence available.
St Helens Council's Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport, Councillor Andy Bowden, said: "Our winter maintenance team deserve a huge amount of credit for the exceptional job they do every year, working all hours and in very challenging conditions to ensure our highways are safe for road users.
"Sadly, it is not possible to cover our entire road network - therefore we always advise residents and businesses across the borough to plan journeys accordingly, utilising the main arterial routes wherever possible."
For more information on the winter maintenance programme, including a list of roads that are gritted in your area and where you can find your nearest grit bin, visit: www.sthelens.gov.uk/gritting