WIGAN is ready for winter – that’s the message from the council following the first cold snap of the season.
Overnight crews have been out gritting on Sunday after temperatures fell below freezing for the first time this winter.
A total of 10 gritting vehicles were sent to carry out a precautionary treatment of the borough’s major roads after a warning from the Met Office that temperatures could drop to minus one in the early hours of this morning.
It comes as the council seeks to reassure residents it’s prepared for the plunging temperatures and is ready to keep Wigan moving this winter.
The council’s gritting team is now based at the new multi-million pound depot in Makerfield Way, Ince. Facilities include a state-of-the-art salt barn that’s currently filled with 4,500 tonnes of gritting salt and space for the council’s 11 brand new multi-purpose gritting vehicles complete with snow ploughs.
Wigan Council has the largest highway network in Greater Manchester, with 1,040km of carriageway and almost 2,000km of footway. In response to the cold winters experienced in recent years, the council’s winter maintenance services have been restructured.
The team operates from the end of October through to April each year. During this period, a fleet of gritters, mechanical excavators and tractors are on standby 24 hours a day ready to treat the roads. Officers monitor both road and weather conditions around the clock.
In addition, there are approximately 500 salt bins located across the borough with a combined storage capacity of over 100 tonnes of salt. Residents are able to request a salt bin using an online form. All of the borough’s salt bins have been refilled ahead of the winter.
Councillor Kevin Anderson, Wigan Council cabinet member for the environment, said: “Recent winters have seen temperatures significantly below average. Such unusual conditions have presented local authorities with major challenges. We’ve invested in our winter maintenance services so we are better able to cope.”