Cold snap: Gritters tackle 2,750 miles of North Yorkshire roads

Gritter at work in North Yorkshire
Gritter at work in North Yorkshire
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The county council is ready for winter on the roads, with 55,000 tonnes of salt stockpiled for use by its fleet of 89 gritters.

With a £7m budget, the council routinely treats 4,400 km (2,750 miles) of road, representing more than half the network, which is the longest of any county in England.

“Dealing with severe winter conditions on such a large network is a complex and expensive operation,” said County Councillor Gareth Dadd, Executive Member for Highways.

“However, it remains one of our top priorities, and once again we are well prepared.

“The construction of the new salt store in Hawes to improve our operation in one of the most remote parts of the county is an indication of our commitment to the service and will, I’m sure, be welcomed by those who use the roads in the Upper Dales.”

In addition to its fleet of gritters, the council has 12 snowblowers for both roads and footways and a network of 130 farmers and other contractors equipped with snowploughs to keep the roads open.

In preparation for the coming season, it has also streamlined its gritting operation in the Upper Dales with the creation of a new salt store in Hawes.

The council is continuing its winter community partnership scheme, which gives parish councils, town councils and other community groups the opportunity to support an enhanced level of maintenance by bringing together volunteers who are willing to take part in clearing snow and treating roads and footways.

Several partnerships already exist.

The support offered includes health and safety operational training, advice and guidance and advance notification of severe weather using a specialist forecasting service.