Preparations made to deal with the onset of winter

A Northumberland County Council gritter.

A Northumberland County Council gritter.

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The county council will have a stock of around 36.000 tonnes of salt to grit the county’s roads when necessary this winter.

A report to Monday night’s meeting of Northumberland County Council’s north area committee provided an update on the authority’s pre-season preparations ahead of what is called the winter services period.

The council requires 110 staff to deliver winter services including managers, supervisors, drivers and second men.

Staffing rotas are in place to ensure sufficient staffing resource is available on a three-shift rota.

There are 11 manned or unmanned depots for grit and the council already has a stock in place from last year of around 20,000 tonnes of salt, with additional supplies are currently being delivered.

A further 16,000 tonnes has been ordered and deliveries have continued into the start of this month to ensure a full stock of about 36,000 tonnes.

The fleet of 30 multi-purpose gritting vehicles with plough attachments has been fully serviced and prepared with all the vehicles now on station.

In addition, there are two purpose-built snowblowers for use in the high areas of the county to be deployed when conditions dictate, as well as a fleet of four gully tankers and four large mechanical sweepers, which are available to assist should the need arise with flooding caused by rapid snow melt.

Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service also makes available five smaller vehicles capable of spreading salt and ploughing snow.