Winter may bring snowflakes, ice and cold temperatures to mind, but flooding and storms are also conditions that council staff prepare for all year round.
The 2019/20 winter season saw 69 outings for our 30-strong fleet of gritters, and preparations for potential adverse weather this year have once again seen 18,000 tonnes of salt arrive in Nottinghamshire to be stored at four depots.
Other developments ahead of this winter include investment in a new web-based tracking and navigation system for gritters which will monitor driver performance and provide real-time ‘in cab’ guidance to support drivers on routes they may not be familiar with.
The procurement, led by Via East Midlands, is also a positive for ensuring that gritting operations aren’t impacted by coronavirus, as it will reduce the need for additional staff in vehicles.
Councillor John Cottee, Chairman of the Communities and Place Committee, said: “Winter is almost upon us again, and thanks to the work of staff in departments across the council all year round, we are well prepared and stocked for the coming season.
“Last winter saw a number of significant flood events, and we would like to assure our communities that we are here to protect and support them in all weathers.
“Of course, we cannot predict what kind of winter we will face, however, by ensuring preparations continue all year round, we are in a good position should adverse weather arrive in Nottinghamshire.
“Preparations for winter have had to take the ongoing pandemic into account to ensure the safety of all staff, and it is pleasing that the procurement of the new tracking and navigation system will make the impacts of coronavirus minimal.
“When making decisions on gritting runs, we use data from weather stations located across Nottinghamshire, and this year we are working in partnership with Via East Midlands to establish a programme of weather station refurbishments and upgrades which includes replacing sensors and adding CCTV cameras to the stations which currently lack them.
“This is excellent news for our winter service decision makers who will benefit from high quality forecasting information.
“From this evening (1 October) our dedicated team of gritter drivers will go on part-time stand-by. This marks the start of winter, which for them, will often mean being out at night on one of 23 gritting routes, treating the 1,712km of road while we are enjoying time at home with our families.
“We would also like to recognise other staff who will be busy supporting communities in the months ahead to make sure that we are there for you in all weathers.”
Visit our winter weather and disruption page to find out more and sign up to our winter emailme bulletin: https://www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/planning-and-environment/emergencies-and-disruption/winter-weather