Preparing for the icy blasts

Councillor Andy Burton (centre), the council's portfolio holder for planning, highways and transportation, with staff from the Streetscene team at Market Weighton depot.
Councillor Andy Burton (centre), the council's portfolio holder for planning, highways and transportation, with staff from the Streetscene team at Market Weighton depot.

East Riding Council has again been getting ready to do battle against snowdrifts and ice this coming winter.

A refresher day was held at the council’s Market Weighton depot for staff who will be in the front line over the next few months.

Essential machinery and vehicles have been serviced, and staff trained in working safely, driver regulations, using snowploughs, and how the council receives – and reacts to – weather forecasts.

Councillor Stephen Parnaby OBE, leader of the council, said: “Keeping the East Riding’s 3,500 kilometres of roads moving in spite of snow and ice is a huge task for this council.

“We have ensured that our fleet of snow ploughs, gritters and mobile snow blowers are serviced, our drivers are trained and well rehearsed in the routes, and our salt barns are filled to capacity, in complete readiness for winter.”

This year, the fleet of 21 gritters will be boosted by the arrival of four new vehicles which will replace some of the older vehicles that are coming to the end of their useful life.

Before the start of any bad weather, the 60-strong team of gritter drivers will also be carrying out test runs of their routes. The precautionary network in the East Riding covers around 38% of all roads in the area. The secondary network covers a further 12% of all the roads.

The total amount of salt that can be stored in the council’s depots is around 17,500 tonnes. The barns have been re-stocked over the summer period, ready for the start of any bad weather. In addition, salt bins have been checked and re-filled where necessary – there are around 1000 bins and 400 salt heaps for use by the public during extreme conditions.

The winter team within Streetscene services are responsible for providing the winter service.

For full details of winter services, and how residents can help the council prepare for extreme weather conditions, visit www.eastriding.gov.uk.