Council gritters out in force tonight

Published on 12 January 2017

GRITTING teams are due to take to the city’s roads from 7pm tonight ahead of predicted icy conditions which are due to affect the area.

Forecasters have predicted rain and sleet this afternoon and early evening, with temperatures dropping over night leading to  a widespread risk of ice.

The city council has a team of six gritting lorries and 15 specialist drivers, based at the city council’s Leycroft Road depot in Beaumont Leys, which are on standby throughout the winter months.

They routinely grit 180 miles of primary routes – more than a third of the city’s entire road network – and a further 40 miles of routes during more severe snowfall.

The council uses up to the minute weather forecasts to decide when to deploy the fleet of gritting vehicles.

Leicester City Council’s head of highways, Martin Fletcher, said: “The latest weather advice is that Leicester can expect night-time temperatures below freezing and possible snow showers over the next few days.

“We expect to be out gritting tonight and every night over the weekend, and also during the daytime if there is snow.

“We get regular detailed road gritting weather forecasts from specialist weather service providers, so we monitor these closely to make a decision on when to go out.

“In addition there are over 430 grit bins in communities across the city which means people can also grit pavements and other well-used areas, but as always we’d advise people to take extra care when out and about in severe weather conditions, particularly pedestrians who should wear appropriate footwear and warm clothing.”

Leicester City Council has a stockpile of more than 2,000 tonnes of rock salt, which is roughly enough for 80 gritting runs in frosty conditions, or about 15 days of heavy snow conditions.

Rock salt which is used for gritting works by lowering the freezing point of moisture on the road surface.

The first early morning traffic following any overnight snow will crush the salt to form brine, which then gets worked into the snow and ice and helps dissolve it.

Gritting routes cover all local hospitals, fire stations and main police stations as well as many schools.

The city council’s gritting teams are on standby from October to April as part of their winter gritting programme, so are ready to go out gritting at very short notice if overnight snow or ice is forecast.

Details of winter road services are available at: www.leicester.gov.uk/gritting