New gritters out on the roads this winter

SAFER ROADS: Highways operations manager for area east Derek Heap and public realm manager for Burnley and Pendle Duncan Reeve launch the winter gritting campaign.
SAFER ROADS: Highways operations manager for area east Derek Heap and public realm manager for Burnley and Pendle Duncan Reeve launch the winter gritting campaign.

MORE salt stocks and new gritters and satellite navigation systems have been bought by County Hall bosses to improve driving conditions on Burnley’s roads over the winter.

Lancashire County Council has stockpiled 33,000 tons of salt – almost double the amount it had four years ago and 10% more than last year – to grit roads around the county and has replaced two of Burnley’s 10-strong fleet of gritters with two new ones costing £90,000 each.

Speaking at the launch of the council’s winter gritting campaign at the town’s depot, in Widow Hill Road, public realm manager for Burnley and Pendle Duncan Reeve said the fleet was more able than ever to cope with ice and snow. “We have eight priority routes in Burnley and Pendle,” he said.

“The introduction of sat-navs will allow us to be more flexible, especially if we are covering 24 and 48-hour periods.

“The people we have on stand-by can’t work that long and so we would have to get people in from other areas of the county, but they don’t know the routes so that’s where the sat-navs come in.

“I think our resilience has improved by having increased stockpiles but if the whole country gets snow, all the councils will want more material from the stocks down in Winsford, Cheshire.”

As last year, the council said it will put out messages on social media sites to advise motorists on driving conditions but Derek Heap, highways operations manager for area east, which includes Burnley, said drivers should always be cautious and assume roads have not been gritted.

The salt dome at the Burnley depot holds 2,500 tons of rock salt which will be used on the town’s roads, while 180 grit bins will be placed around town and 50 salt heaps will be available in rural areas.

Council bosses will also get help from the borough council to clear snow and a priority footway through Burnley and Padiham town centres, Briercliffe and areas around Burnley General Hospital.