WIGAN Council’s gritting team was out on the borough’s roads for the first time since last winter last night after predictions that temperatures were expected to fall below freezing.
The gritting team is now based at the council’s multi-million pound depot in Ince, with facilities including a state-of-the-art salt barn that’s currently filled with 4,300 tonnes of gritting salt and space for the council’s 11 multi-purpose gritting vehicles.
Wigan’s road network is 1,040km long – the second longest in Greater Manchester, and last winter the gritting team treated the roads 46 times.
During the winter months, the council will announce when it is intending to treat the borough’s roads on its social media channels – www.twitter.com/wigancouncil and www.facebook.com/WiganCouncilOnline but to help residents they have andswered a few frequently asked questions.
1. How can I find out exactly what roads are gritted?
We grit all the main roads as priority to maintaining safe driving conditions on the most frequently used routes. See a map of the routes we grit here http://www.wigan.gov.uk/Council/Winter/Winter-Maintenance.aspx
2. Are footpaths gritted?
Footways get a precautionary gritting but we do treat footways in town centre areas when snow has fallen.
3. When do you grit?
The decision to grit is made based on the weather forecast data received from the National Weather Centre and the road surface temperature as measured at several local weather stations.
4. Can I buy grit from the council to treat my own private property?
Supplies of grit are not provided to members of the public or local businesses by the council. It can be bought from private suppliers.
5. Can I take grit from a grit bin near me?
Anyone can use the salt in the grit bins provided by the council as long as it is for use on the adopted highway. The grit is not for use on private driveways or paths.
6. My grit bin is empty. How do I get the grit box refilled?
Grit bins will only be replenished during and immediately after periods of adverse weather.
7. Can I have a grit bin located near me?
The criteria for a grit bins and applications to have one positioned can be found here http://www.wigan.gov.uk/Council/Winter/Winter-Maintenance.aspx
Residents can also request a bin by calling 01942 404364. Each application will be assessed against the criteria.
8. What happens during severe winter weather?
The council has also ensured it has adequate stores of salt to deal with the most severe winters.