Our Labour Council is getting ready to keep the local road network as safe as possible this winter.
Ensuring freezing cold weather conditions are tackled head on, the council has purchased three new gritting vehicles at a cost of £375,000 from its capital budget – money ring fenced for transport upgrades – as part of a fleet modernisation programme.
Fitted with GPS tracking systems which provide live and archived data, the new vehicles – supplied by Romaquip – the UK’s leading supplier of winter maintenance equipment – are considerably more efficient than older diesel vehicles, producing far fewer emissions.
The latest additions bring the total winter maintenance operational vehicles to a nine-strong fleet, with crews on standby 24-7 from now until mid-April to act on information coming in from the borough’s two weather stations which have recently undergone a £40,000 upgrade to provide live and vital information on weather and road conditions
Once road surface temperatures approach zero degrees, the team will go out to cover seven key routes across more than 178 miles of local road network, spreading between 10 to 20 grams of treated salt before ice forms and snow settles to keep the borough’s roads open for the morning commutes and school runs.
The council’s salt barn has more than 2,000 tonnes of rock salt stored in readiness and all 150 highway grit bins will be filled for the start of the winter season.
Last year alone, the council carried out 62 gritting operations during the winter maintenance period.
Commenting on a recent visit to see the new gritters, Councillor Seve Gomez-Aspron MBE, Deputy Leader of St Helens Borough and Cabinet Member for Strategic Transport, said:
“The team deserve a huge amount of credit for the exceptional job they do year after year, working all hours and in very challenging conditions to ensure our highways are safe for road users.
“With this latest investment, our winter road maintenance service is now more resilient than ever before, standing ready to combat ice and snow as we move into the colder months. It’s a vital service that I’m glad to see improved through our expansive fleet modernisation programme, and one that will certainly benefit residents this winter.”
For more information on the winter maintenance programme, including a list of roads that are gritted in your area and where you can find your nearest grit bin, visit: www.sthelens.gov.uk/christmas