The winter months are some of the most dangerous times to be using the roads. The gritting team tasked with keeping them as safe as possible is ready and waiting for the next cold spell.
Nottingham City Council is working 24 hours a day to make sure road users have the best possible surface conditions when travelling this winter.
The fleet of five vehicles and 20 drivers are prepped to spread grit upon five routes around the city whenever the conditions require it.
If the temperature falls below zero degrees celsius and the road is wet, gritting trucks can be seen along the city’s major roads.
Using reports from the Met Office, the team analyse the weather forecast and judge when gritting is necessary.
“For ice to form we need water, so if the roads are dry we don’t always grit”
Richard dunn, Highway engineer
Hazardous conditions become much more likely throughout the winter period with snow, sleet and sinister black ice all having an effect on the roads.
Richard Dunn, the Highway Engineer responsible for organising the fleet of gritting vehicles, manages the entire winter service for Nottingham City Council.
“From October through to April we run the gritting team for gritting Nottingham city roads,” said Richard.
“We monitor the weather that comes from the MET Office and make a decision whether we need to grit in poor weather, whether its gonna snow or not and what precautions we need to take to make sure the roads are safe.”
”When the temperature is forecast to drop below zero we will make a gritting run.”
Richard emphasised the fact that below freezing temperatures don’t always mean gritting will take place.
“For ice to form we need water, so if the roads are dry we don’t always grit.”
The sprinkle of snow seen in Nottingham may not be returning soon, yet that doesn’t mean the cold is retreating.
“We’re not expecting any further snow this weekend, but temperatures are likely to drop below zero,” he added.
The responsibility of road safety doesn’t just lie with the council, but the person behind the wheel also.
“In this weather do you need to make a journey?”
Peter Serhatlic, regional manager iam roadsmart
Peter Serhatlic, an ex senior Police Officer and Regional Manager for IAM ROADSMART, has been helping to improve drivers road skills for years.
He advised drivers to “Keep calm, keep well back, drive to the conditions and drive to the capabilities of the vehicle and the capabilities of yourself.”
According to the Nottinghamshire County Council roughly 37 people are killed or injured on Nottinghamshire roads every week, many of which are blamed on human error.