Gritting underway as temperatures drop

Ready for winter: Gritting underway as temperatures drop

Teams at Rochdale Borough Council are set to hit the road to tackle ice, sleet, flooding and snow this winter.


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Gritting began last week, and now eight gritters are on standby ready to help keep the borough’s main roads safe.
There are over 4,500 tonnes of salt for spreading when temperatures drop at the council depot on Princess Street in Rochdale.
The council are monitoring weather forecasts and road conditions, ready to work 24 hours a day, seven days a week when needed through to the middle of April 2019.
Staff get regular weather forecasts designed to give information about road surface temperatures and the likelihood of ice, snow or flooding.
This is observed in conjunction with a computer-assisted ice detection system, cameras and the council’s climate stations at Blackstone Edge and Middleton.
They also use automated gritting technology – which covers exactly the amount of grit salt required so drivers can concentrate solely on the road. ‘Autologic’ knows the borough’s specific road widths and ensures the optimal amount of salt is spread to maximise the treatments, meaning salt isn’t wasted.
Hazardous spots can be set to automatically get additional salt.
Residents are being notified to make sure they are ready to deal with icy and wet conditions too as well as the simple things they can do to keep warm, healthy and safe during winter. 
This involves making sure vehicles are ready for harsh weather, that you have the right equipment to keep you safe and know how to drive in intense weather conditions.
Also look out for elderly or vulnerable neighbours who may require extra help over the winter months.
If you reside or have a business in an area which is prone to flooding you can register with the Environment Agency for warnings of any flood danger.
Councillor Neil Emmott, the cabinet member for the environment, said:
“Gritting is already underway with the recent cold spell, and we are in a strong position ready for the winter period. 
Approximately 200 miles of roads are salted during one round of total gritting – 50 per cent of the total road network in the borough, and there are up to 28 drivers on standby.
Last winter the gritting teams helped to keep the borough going in extremely tough conditions.
As always people should remember that gritting is not guaranteed always to keep snow off every road.
As each gritting run can take more than two hours, please be aware that roads may be gritted after the circuit starts.
I urge everyone to reduce their speed and drive carefully if conditions deteriorate.”
Councillor Neil Emmott with one of the gritters at the council’s Princess Street depot in Rochdale.
When icy or snowy conditions are forecast, gritting teams carry out precautionary gritting and snow clearing, ploughs are fitted to all vehicles when required.
The council has over 500 salt bins throughout the borough in areas where particularly challenging conditions exist.
Weather updates, information on gritting, salt bin locations, flooding, service changes, winter facts and answers to popular questions are available at You can also get updates on Twitter, search #RochdaleGrit
Tips for driving in extreme weather:
  1. Allow extra time for your journey.
  2. Make sure you have enough fuel.
  3. Check your battery is good.
  4. Check your tyres are suitable.
  5. Carry a shovel in your boot.
  6. Carry a bit of rock salt (available from builder’s merchants).
  7. Don’t over-rev the engine or your wheels will spin.
  8. Use as high a gear as possible to improve grip.
  9. Build your speed up slowly on hills.
  10. Always brake gently and in plenty of time.
  11. Don’t block junctions or roundabouts.
  12. Keep more distance than usual from the car in front.
  13. Give cyclists more space.
  14. Keep a look out for pedestrians – particularly at zebra crossings, pelican crossings and outside schools.
  15. Push broken down vehicles off the carriageway – abandoned cars are one of the main obstacles which get in the way of snow ploughs.
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