It’s the season when our gritters are out in full force ensuring that motorists can get to where they need to go safely for the holidays. The main focus of winter gritting is to make our main roads, where there are high volumes of traffic and traffic travelling at speed, safe for the public to use. In addition, we also must prioritise gritting routes which take into account available budget and resource, particularly in severe weather.
During the winter maintenance season, road temperatures and conditions are monitored regularly to enable us to decide when precautionary salting or other treatment is required. Crews are on call 24 hours a day and can react quickly to extreme weather conditions. Generally, all planned early morning treatments are completed before 7.30am and more frequently during periods of prolonged freezing weather.
Our maintenance teams pre-treat A, B and other strategic and heavily trafficked routes when local inspections and weather forecasts make this necessary. Secondary routes may also be treated during severe winter periods.
Roads providing access to schools are also treated as a high priority in times of severe or prolonged winter weather. Council run public car parks in Hereford city and the market towns will be treated when surface temperatures are expected to remain below freezing for 24 hours or more ice is predicted.
More information on winter road maintenance and gritting can be found here, together with detailed maps of priority and secondary routes. You can also follow our winter gritters on Twitter @hfdstreets.
Photo Credits: Michael Mabel, Balfour Beatty Living Places