Essex Highways’ Winter Service starts from Monday 19th October and our gritter team is on standby to keep roads in the county in a safe condition from this date.
Long-range weather forecasts still cannot tell us with any reliability what sort of winter weather we may get.
The last couple winters of have been relatively mild, but people in Essex may remember the snowy winter of 2017/18. Essex Highways knows the county may face similar episodes this winter and our message is: We are prepared.
In early October our gritter drivers refreshed their knowledge of gritted routes and vehicle systems by practice-driving them. Essex Highways grit 40 per cent of the county road network, Highways England grit the A12, A120, M11 and M25 and Southend-on-Sea and Thurrock Councils grit their own roads.
Councillor Kevin Bentley, Deputy Leader of Essex County Council Cabinet Member for Infrastructure, said:
“While, fortunately, my responsibilities don’t extend to forecasting the weather, I am able to assure everyone that we have invested in sufficient salt, salt barns and equipment to be in a very good position to keep our main routes and other key roads open in all but the most extreme potential weather this winter.
“However it’s not just the unpredictable weather we face this winter of course – our drivers are at similar risk of Covid infection as the general public, so we are carefully considering our health practices, driver and stand-by driver rotas as well as looking at contingency gritting plans.
“What I can say is, we will continue to deliver the best service we can under any situation.”
Roadside salt bins for use by local residents have just been re-filled where necessary, approximately 36 tonnes of salt being added across Essex. Should it be necessary, residents can also help by carefully clearing snow from their own local pavements – you can read guidance about how to do this safely on our ‘clearing snow and ice yourself’ web page.
Please check the roads we grit on our online map at http://bit.ly/2L1o4AK . You can find further information on our Winter Service webpages and from 19 October you can follow daily gritter decisions on the Essex Highways Twitter account at https://twitter.com/essexhighways