Balfour Beatty Living Places, which is delivering public realm services in partnership with Herefordshire Council, is getting ready to keep the county moving this winter with its winter maintenance plans.
The county will start winter with around 6,000 tonnes of salt in stock and more salt can be shipped in if and when it is needed from an additional reserve.
There are 17 frontline gritting vehicles, four snow blowers and several quad bikes which will be operated by a 30-strong team working around-the-clock during extreme conditions to ensure the impact on traffic around Herefordshire is minimal. .
Balfour Beatty Living Places’ contract director, Alasdair Macdonald, said: “At the moment we’re carrying out winter maintenance training and doing a series of dry-runs to familiarise drivers with the 15 priority routes as well as ensuring all the gritters and equipment are in good working order.”
Councillor Paul Rone, cabinet member transport & roads, added: “We have a robust winter maintenance policy in place once again this year. There are more than 600 miles of priority routes which are chosen to maintain transport connections for as many communities as possible”.
When freezing conditions are forecast these key routes will get precautionary salting and reactive gritting. Usually pre-cautionary salting is carried out during the early evening or early morning.
A network of road sensors across the county feeds surface temperatures and other weather data back to the control room where, with specialist weather forecasts, radar and satellite imagery, the duty officer can deploy the team.
Balfour Beatty Living Places works with Highways England, and its contractor Keir, which has responsibility for major roads.
Warnings and updates are issued to local residents via Twitter on @HfdsStreets and, in the case of extreme weather, road closures are listed on the Herefordshire Council website https://www.herefordshire.gov.uk/transport-and-highways/maintenance/roads-closures-and-diversions