Gritter fleet faces cuts

April 30 2018

THE fleet of gritters used to treat South Gloucestershire’s roads in the winter is set to be cut to save money.

It is also planned to remove more than 18 miles (30km) of roads within the district from those that are salted as a precaution to reduce the risk of ice forming.

Among roads that will be affected by the change are Sibland Road in Thornbury.

In Chipping Sodbury, Dodington and Westerleigh, it is proposed to no longer have precautionary salting of Claypit Hill, part of Dodington Road, Gibbs Lane and Sodbury Lane.

Winterbourne and Frampton Cotterell will see Park Lane and Perrinpit Road removed from the list.

South Gloucestershire Council currently uses a fleet of 11 gritters to not only spread salt where ice could form but also to melt ice that has already developed and snow that has fallen. The winter highways team also removes snow.

It said it didn’t have the resources to treat all of its 955 miles (1,537km) of highway so prioritised busier roads, bus routes, links to key towns and villages and routes to hospitals and schools. 

Such primary routes amount to about 334 miles (538km) being treated during standard precautionary salting.

A further 42 miles (67km) of secondary routes are only gritted when there is a predicted substantial increase of risk from snow or freezing rain and when resources allowed. 

The council’s proposals to make savings of £100,000 include reducing the gritter fleet by two and cutting the amount of time spent by drivers treating roads.

It said although it carried out an exercise to ensure efficiency in treating roads, that only realised half of its savings target, making it necessary to remove some routes.

Public consultation is currently taking place on the moves and anyone who wants to make a comment should do so via the council’s website by June 18.

It is planned to introduce the changes, if agreed, in time for next winter.