Twenty gritting lorries on standby to grit Northamptonshire's roads from now until April
"It is vitally important we treat our roads to allow people to make essential journeys and for critical supplies to get to hospital and shops”
Northamptonshire Highways (NH) is on standby to grit the county's roads from now until April during periods of snow and ice.
The 24-hour snow desk has been open over the weekend following the severe weather alert and will remain open until temperatures rise and any risk has passed.
The snow desk allows for temperatures to be continuously monitored and helps NH make quick, reactive decisions and mobilise the crews and any additional resource.
The gritter drivers are also in constant communication with the snow desk reporting back on any issues NH need to address.
County council cabinet member for highways Jason Smithers said: “The winter team, supported by our supply chain, has been working throughout the weekend keeping the county moving.
"We are urging people to only make essential journeys and remember that you should never assume a road is gritted and drive according to the conditions.
"Many rural roads will not be treated and even when a road has received a gritting treatment, the salt requires activation from the movement of vehicles. Because a road has been gritted, it does not mean that all risk of accident has been eliminated.
"It is vitally important we treat our roads to allow people to make essential journeys and for critical supplies to get to hospital and shops.”
The county council said it treats Northamptonshire's roads to keep them open and safe to ensure road users can travel with a minimum of delay and disruption.
The council uses weather stations and sensors along Northamptonshire's roads to return temperature readings every 15 minutes and weather forecasts every hour.
Northamptonshire has one of the UK's longest gritting routes in the country and every parish in the county has a gritted route in and out to ensure villages remain connected. Roads are gritted when forecasts predict temperatures falling below 0.5°C.
The crews work out of depots in Wellingborough, Brixworth, and Towcester. 1157 miles of A and B roads are treated by 20 gritting lorries and each run takes approximately four hours.
This year, routes have been extended to include access roads to Covid -19 vaccine centres.
Crews are currently hand gritting the P1 footways in busy pedestrian areas including major shopping areas and near hospitals.
1500 grit bins have been filled and are for public use to keep public roads and pavements clear but the salt is not intended for use on private drives. Members of the public can report empty salt bins that need refilling via the county council's Street Doctor service.
Updates are regularly posted on Twitter @nnhighways
Further information on the county council gritting service can be found here.
Motorways and trunk roads — the M1 and M45, the A14, and parts of A45, A5 and A43 in the county — are gritted by Highways England who were also out over the weekend.