Record gritting in Essex during worst winter for 30 years
ESSEX County Council s (ECC s) gritting fleet has been the busiest it has ever been during a record-breaking four-week period. However the full gritting service that has been maintained for a record 32 days and used more than 13,000 tonnes of grit will no
ESSEX County Council's (ECC's) gritting fleet has been the busiest it has ever been during a record-breaking four-week period.
However the full gritting service that has been maintained for a record 32 days and used more than 13,000 tonnes of grit will not be sustainable as the cold snap continues.
A December order to replenish salt stocks has not been met and Essex, along with other local authorities, is now reliant on new supplies coming from the government's 'Salt Cell' system.
ECC's cabinet member for highways and transportation, Cllr Norman Hume, said: "Our gritting crews have done truly impressive work over the past month in exceptional conditions to keep Essex moving.
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"Although forecasts suggest an easing of conditions, we are carefully managing our supplies of salt in line with the amounts the government are supplying to us, to maintain the highest quality gritting service possible.
"I would urge residents to help us keep the roads moving by being as prepared as possible before they leave home."
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Since temperatures fell below zero on December 12, ECC has been operating its fleet of 65 winter gritters at full capacity to keep the county moving.
The council has been better placed than many other local authorities for the conditions, purchasing more salt than in previous years which saw the county start the winter with higher levels of grit supplies than ever before.
The current icy weather has been the worst the county has faced since 1978/9, over thirty years ago.
The severe conditions of December 12 to January 11 has seen the ECC winter service grit the county for a record 31 days (45 actions); use 13,410 tonnes of grit on the roads, pavements, footpaths, in town centres and providing access to emergency services; treat approximately 84,150 miles of primary road network plus hundreds of miles of extra local routes; and use supplies of salt worth approximately �500,000.