If you see gritters on the roads on Saturday morning (16 October), don’t do a double-take if it’s mild – West Sussex Highways is testing its winter readiness.
The annual “dry run” with the gritters prepares the County Council to keep safe main roads and approaches to hospitals, schools/colleges and busy bus routes.
A West Sussex Highways spokesperson said: “Our fleet of 19 gritters will be ready to go when the frosty weather arrives. Drivers from contractor Balfour Beatty Living Places check the vehicles and equipment are in good working order and it is an opportunity to familiarise themselves again with the routes. They also note any problems, such as overgrown hedges, that need attention ahead of severe weather later in the year.”
There is more information online about the council’s winter planning, including gritting routes and how it is decided which roads to grit. Residents can also follow on Twitter @WSHighways #GritterTwitter to see a daily decision on whether to send the gritters out.
Key facts about gritting from West Sussex County Council
- The gritting routes cover nearly 1,700km of highway, including all A and B roads, and include routes of local importance.
- The council monitors the weather closely from 1 October to 30 April and will make a daily decision on whether we need to grit (salt).
- The winter season starts with around 8,000 tonnes of salt in store and they monitor stocks carefully throughout the season.
- They support town and parish councils which have local winter plans by topping up grit bins at the beginning of the winter season.
- Whilst they are out spreading, grit takes time to work on the roads and the council always asks drivers to please take their time and drive to the conditions.