WARWICKSHIRE is geared up for winter.
The county’s fleet of 29 gritters travelled the equivalent of 4.6 journeys around the world last winter in a bid to keep Warwickshire’s roads clear of ice and snow.
But the annual task takes its toll on the vehicles and Warwickshire County Council has just replaced 14 of its gritters, which had been operating for up to 22 years, at a cost of £780,000.
The upgraded gritters – which are environmentally-friendly as they meet modern vehicle emission standards – are all less than four years old, and being secondhand cost half the price of new models.
Warwickshire transport spokesman Coun Jeff Clarke said: “These vehicles enhance our network’s resilience and demonstrate the council’s ongoing commitment to keeping the highway network open during spells of harsh weather.
“The costs to the local economy in terms of lost productivity are very significant so this is an investment that we will see a very quick return on.
“But while it is crucial that we keep the county moving, we are also making sure that we keep commuters safe. This is not just about clearing snow in extreme weather but making sure that roads are safe from the dangers of ice and unseen hazards in slightly less dramatic weather conditions which can have catastrophic consequences. These vehicles will make us ready to meet that challenge.”
Last winter the gritters were out 104 times spreading between 125 and 250 tonnes of salt each run. Over the course of the winter they spread more than 22,000 tonnes.