Council bosses in South Tyneside have invested in three new gritting lorries in an effort to keep the borough moving this winter
The new vehicles replace ones which were at the end of their serviceable life and are equipped with the latest software allowing for more control over grit spreading rates and helping the council’s salt supplies to last longer.
The council has a stock of 8,000 tonnes of salt and winter maintenance staff have already sprang into action, pre-salting priority routes when temperatures have plummeted.
The gritting operations focus on major roads, bus routes and steep banks as well as priority footpaths in shopping areas, around schools and on steps and footbridges.
Coun Tracey Dixon, lead member for area management and community safety at South Tyneside Council said: “Our teams are fully prepared for any cold spells that we experience over the coming months.
“The winter maintenance plan involves working with South Tyneside Homes and our partners in the emergency services to help safeguard residents and keep any disruption to services to an absolute minimum.
“We always check Met Office forecasts for notice of any particularly cold spells so that teams can react quickly to sudden changes in weather conditions and we have a dedicated team ready to work around the clock if necessary.
“We would like to remind people that we must clear our priority routes first and would ask for patience during periods of extreme cold weather. We are committed to doing our very best to keep South Tyneside moving which is good for commuters, businesses and the school run.”
South Tyneside Council operates a permanent night shift from November to March and has a fleet of four dedicated gritting wagons.
There are also six pedestrian-operated salt spreaders and 30 hand salters to help operators to grit foot paths that the other machinery is unable to reach.
The Council also maintains more than 160 grit bins across the Borough. These are used to help clear footpaths, shopping areas and anywhere which may be hazardous to the public in the event of snow and ice. The bins are available to support Council staff in their gritting operations and are not for private use.