Winter is coming

October 22, 2021 2:30 PM
Originally published by Dave Hodgson - Mayor of Bedford Borough

Council GritterFrom Friday 22 October, Bedford Borough Council is in its 'winter maintenance period'. This means gritting crews are ready to go out spreading salt on roads to keep traffic moving and safe, as temperatures drop.

While the weather is still a little warmer, you may see gritters out testing their equipment and making any final adjustments to routes, getting ready for the colder temperatures.

In addition to the usual gritting service, following the high levels of rain and wet weather last year, the Council has added a drainage vehicle to be on standby to make sure drains and gullies are as clear as possible to help any standing water drain away.

Throughout the winter period, professionally qualified officers collate information gathered by weather stations across the Borough, weather forecast updates, and satellite imagery software. All of this information predicts road temperatures, whether it will snow, and what time these things are expected happen and that dictates when gritting runs happen.

While the salt does not directly melt the snow, it works by traffic mixing it in to create a salty solution which doesn't freeze as quickly as water. This reduces the build-up of snow.

Councillor Charles Royden, Portfolio Holder for Highways said "From the start of our winter maintenance period, right through to it ending in March, our gritting crews are on standby. The work they do is really vital in keeping our roads safe and the traffic moving throughout the winter. From today, our Gritter Twitter service will also be back up and running, and you can follow them at @grittertweets, and get updates on gritting runs and weather forecasts throughout the season. You can also check www.bedford.gov.uk/winterupdates. This winter, we will also have a live map on our website so you can see exactly where the gritters are during their runs. This will be available later this year."