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Gritters take to city's roads ahead of black ice

Published on 07 November 2017

GRITTING teams are due to take to the city’s roads tonight ahead of sub-zero temperatures and black ice which are due to affect the area. 

Forecasters have predicted cold weather and icy conditions for the Leicester, meaning city council gritters will grit the city’s streets overnight.

Black ice is predicted from about 4am on Wednesday, November 8. Gritting will begin tonight once the rain has passed.

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 we can expect freezing temperatures and black ice on the roads from the small hours of tomorrow.

“Therefore we’ll be out gritting tonight from about 10pm. 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 icy conditions, particularly pedestrians who should wear appropriate footwear and warm clothing.” 

Leicester City Council each year stockpiles thousands of tonnes of rock salt, which works by lowering the freezing point of moisture on the road surface. 

The first early morning traffic following any overnight ice or 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 

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