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WATCH: Cumbria's gritters ready for winter

We seem to be having all four seasons at once this week - but Cumbria County Council's highways department says it's well prepared for winter.

Salt and grit stocks are ready for treating the roads - and this year the council is trialling new computer equipment that controls the gritting operation from an office. Fiona Marley Paterson reports.


Cumbria council's gritters ready for action

The gritters are ready for action. Credit: Cumbria County Council

As the weather gets colder, and roads more slippery, Cumbria County Council has announced its gritters are ready for action.

Over the next few months they will be out on the county's roads, trying to make them safer for drivers.

It's a difficult task, and they will be treating areas of road equivalent to the distance between Penrith and Barcelona:

The budget set aside for winter roads maintenance
Or 1,490 miles, is the distance of highway the council will routinely be treating.
Tonnes of salt stockpiled
Gritters are ready for action

The council says Priority One routes, including many of the county's main roads, are treated in fewer than three hours in freezing conditions.

Priority Two roads, including A, B and C roads, will be treated in five hours.

I know our winter maintenance service is greatly valued by the travelling public and the council remains committed to providing the best possible service, even at a time of unprecedented pressure on council budgets.

Dealing with severe winter conditions on a road network like Cumbria’s, with some of the highest terrain and most challenging conditions in the country, is a complex operation and once again we’re prepared for another busy winter ahead.

Our gritting teams play a vital role in keeping the county moving, often going out at night in extreme weather to ensure Cumbria stays connected.”

– Councillor Keith Little, Cumbria County Council

Council launches 'Gritter Twitter' service

Cumbria County Council has launched a Twitter service so people can keep track of gritting plans during the winter months. They've also introduced a new online map which is updated daily showing which routes the fleet of gritters intend to treat.

Twitter users can find it through Cumbria County Council's Twitter account at @CumbriaCC The interactive map can be viewed on the council's website

The new online information service will help keep drivers safe on Cumbria's roads during the winter months and is representative of the county council's determination to be innovative in making important information available to members of the public in a timely and accessible way.

– Cllr Tony Markley, Cumbria County Council