Cornwall gears up for winter as gritters get ready for action
Despite fresh memories of summer days on the beach, the darker evenings and chillier mornings are leaving us in no doubt that winter is firmly on its way. It means that the fleet of 28 gritter trucks, operated by Cormac, are being readied for another season of keeping residents moving, no matter what the weather may bring. This season, 16 new lorries will join the 12 existing lorries and they are all set and ready to get out spreading salt straight from the depots.
The crews are on 24-hour standby throughout the colder weather ready to respond to instructions at short notice. The gritters went out for the first time last autumn in late October, and a first frost could arrive at any time this year.
During the severe weather of the winter of 2017/18, gritting crews covered 75,000 miles of road – more than three times around the globe – and used around 14,000 tonnes of salt to help keep Cornwall’s roads moving as freely as possible.
There are 25 gritting routes set out across Cornwall, covering the 20% of the road network that carries 80% of the total volume of traffic, and they include prioritising access to hospitals, secondary schools and bus stations.
Working with road sensors and weather experts, the crews aim to have roads gritted at least an hour before road temperatures reach freezing point. Following a significant investment in driver training, the teams are ready to get going on their dedicated routes.
Dominic Bostock, Cormac Interim Managing Director, says “Our salt is already stockpiled and we’re ready to go out across the roads in Cornwall at a moment’s notice, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. With our newer fleet and newly trained drivers this year, when its needed, we’ll be ready to go out gritting in the early hours of the morning while most of us are asleep to make our journeys safer.”
Byon Oct 24 2019