While most in the East Riding have been enjoying the summer sun, East Riding of Yorkshire Council has been preparing for the coming winter by filling its salt barns, maintaining its 21-vehicle gritter fleet and ensuring operational staff are familiar with their routes and trained in any new procedures.
Over recent years the East Riding has born the brunt of much of the severe winter weather and has recently invested in 26 mobile, pedestrian-controlled snow blowers, at a cost of £12,000, which will be used to treat the busiest footways.
The council is responsible for the upkeep of nearly 3,500km of highway and has extensive salting routes that cover up to 50 per cent of these roads, with the footways in the busiest urban areas being cleared of snow during more extended periods of bad weather.
To ensure a robust response that allows residents and businesses to go about their daily lives with as little inconvenience as possible, the council uses the summer months as an opportunity to maintain its systems and equipment, service the gritters, test systems and undertake practice runs of the treated routes. These practice runs can include travelling along the precautionary network, the lifeline of the East Riding.
Councillor Chris Matthews, cabinet portfolio holder for infrastructure, highways and emergency planning at East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: “During the recent good weather, some of our residents may have done a double take if they have seen a gritter on the road. Whilst this seems odd, it is necessary to ensure the vehicles are calibrated and in good working order, ensuring we are ready for the winter weather.
“Our preparation for this winter has been ongoing for months. Our salt barns are full and we have orders in place with suppliers to replenish stocks as the supplies are used.
“The authority’s winter plans have been updated to include the introduction of 26 new snow blowers that have beenpurchased to assist residents when snow can make walking conditions in our communities challenging.
“The council takes its winter maintenance duties very seriously and will do all it can to keep the roads and footways of the East Riding open and as accessible to pedestrians and motorists as possible although some disruption must be anticipated.
“If we have a harsh winter, any additional salt stocks will be purchased through the authority’s contingency budgets as we have done in previous years.”
DSC_2893 - Councillor Chris Matthews, cabinet portfolio holder for infrastructure, highways and emergency planning, and streetscene service staff at Carnaby Depot check out the new snow blowers.