As the temperature starts to drop, Dorset Highways is gearing up for its winter weather duties.
Dorset County Council’s fleet of 26 gritters have been out on the road completing dry-runs to test equipment – and for drivers to re-familiarise themselves with routes – before they’re called into action.
Last winter gritters were sent out 47 times, with a total of 3,747 tonnes of salt used to make the gritting network safe.
In 2015/16, gritting runs were made twice in November, once in December, 14 times in January, 15 times in February, 11 times in March, and four times in April 2016.
The gritting season runs from October to April, with 22 drivers on call 24 hours a day to salt the main gritting network and, where possible, the community routes.
Martin Hill, Dorset Highways operations service manager, said: “Although it was an average year in the number of runs we made, the unusual thing for us was that last year the season started a bit later and then went to the end of April – when we were getting ready to park the trucks up for the summer months.”
Martin continued: “At the moment we’re taking final deliveries of salt to ensure our stock is topped up, and we’re working with town and parish councils to make sure that community salt bins are filled.
“Drivers can stay safe by being aware of the conditions they’re driving in.”