With winter slowly creeping up on us, BCP Council is prepared to respond to the dropping temperatures with gritters fully equipped and ready to help keep our roads safe from the first frost.
The council’s winter service plan, which started at the beginning of October and runs until the end of April 2021, details the preparations for those cold and wet days when you just want to curl up next to a roaring fire with a cup of hot chocolate. During snowy and icy weather, officers monitor specialist weather forecasting and ice prediction systems 24 hours a day; remotely monitor road conditions from strategically located weather stations; identify potential hazards such as hoar frost, ice and snow; and prepare the spreading routes.
The council maintains a spreader fleet on standby 24 hours a day, stocked with 2,800 tonnes of road salt and prepares 177 grit bins in strategic locations. When weather condition dictate, they deploy the grit and salt spreaders on a pre-planned road network using GPS guided vehicles, or if needed, plough snow from main roads.
This year, officers will be making use of Route Based Forecasting for the first time. This will allow them to make selected treatments on individual gritting routes, rather than organising multiple vehicles to go out and grit roads unnecessarily. Across the BCP conurbation, there are 12 precautionary salting routes, so while this will reduce all the vehicles from being deployed every time, it doesn’t reduce the officer’s resilience to respond in emergencies.
Cllr Mark Anderson, Cabinet Portfolio Member for Environment, Cleansing and Waste commented:
“We have a robust winter service plan across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole, with officers monitoring conditions 24 hours a day when it’s icy or snowy weather, so they are ready to go out when needed.
“We have invested in two new gritters to join the fleet and the new Route Based Forecasting will enable us to actively target which areas need action, allowing us to reduce our carbon footprint by only sending vehicles out to those specific areas for the first time. The spread patten from the gritters including width and direction is automated and GPS controlled, so we can also reduce the overspreading of salt and reduce any negative impact on verge biodiversity. We are committed to our sustainable environment objective and preserving our environment, and this will all help towards this pledge.”
To find out more about the winter service plan and the council’s gritting routes, please visit our winter service homepage.