Even if there’s no hint of icy weather, gritters will be taking to the county’s roads this Saturday (15 October). West Sussex County Council will be deploying its fleet of 19 gritters to test its winter readiness for when temperatures do drop.
The annual “dry run” prepares the County Council to keep safe main roads and approaches to hospitals, schools/colleges and busy bus routes.
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 and see if there are ways to make the runs more efficient.
There is more information online about our winter planning, including our gritting routes and how we decide which roads to grit.
Residents can follow us on Twitter @WSHighways #GritterTwitter to see our daily decision on whether to send the gritters out.
To grit, or not to grit – a daily decision:
- We monitor the weather closely from 1 October to 30 April and will make a daily decision on whether we need to grit (salt).
- The gritting routes cover nearly 1,700km of highway, including all A and B roads, and include routes of local importance such as major bus routes, access to emergency service bases, hospitals and large industrial establishments.
- We start the winter season with around 8,000 tonnes of salt in our stores and monitor stocks carefully throughout the season.
- We support town and parish councils which have local winter plans by topping up grit bins at the beginning of the winter season.
- Whilst we’re out spreading, grit takes time to work on the roads and we always ask drivers to please take their time and always drive to the conditions.