Lichfield road gritting team ready to battle the festive freeze

A gritter

A gritter

Drivers in Lichfield are being reassured that the roads will be in safe hands this Christmas as dedicated gritting crews are on call around the clock to fight the festive freeze.

Staffordshire County Council’s highways team has already faced a busy weekend, spreading 1,500 tonnes of salt.

Crews visited each of the area’s 60 routes at 5am on Saturday and Sunday and again during the early evening. Some of the more affected routes were treated three times.

The team has access to a fleet of over 60 salting vehicles, 140 snow blades, and 20 tractor-mounted snow blowers. And 10 of the salting machines use pre-wetted salt, ensuring more immediate and effective action, stopping ice before it gets a grip.

In addition, gritters and snow ploughs are parked up on farms, with farmers contracted in if needed.

Councillor Mike Maryon, Cabinet member for Highways, said:

“The weather has really taken a turn for the worse over the last few days and, with temperatures expected to drop to an icy -10 degrees by tomorrow, the highways team is ready to step up to the challenge. However, people need to remember that salt treatment is only effective down to about -7 degrees so they need to be aware that even treated roads will be icy when it gets this cold.

“Crews will be on call around the clock but there are roads which will be untreated and even on gritted roads people will still need to exercise extra caution. The message is a clear one to motorists – you must take extra care when driving in winter conditions and avoid travelling if possible when the weather’s really bad.”

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