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  • Writer's pictureSafer Highways

Dorset 'well prepared' for snow and ice on roads this year


DORSET is “well prepared” to keep the roads open and usable ahead of what could be a very cold and icy winter.


Temperatures are expected to drop below 1C this winter and Dorset Council has got its gritting crews primed and ready.


More than 90 members of the highways department are on standby for on-call duties 24 hours round the clock and nearly 13,000 tonnes of rock salt are in storage.


Included in the 684 miles of roads forming 23 gritting routes will be small villages and rural hamlets.


Cllr Ray Bryan, portfolio holder for highways, travel, and environment at Dorset Council, said: “Our dedicated highways crews step away from their regular roles when the temperatures fall to keep residents, businesses, and emergency services moving and as safe as possible.


“Last winter was particularly busy, so we’re hoping temperatures don’t drop so regularly this year, but whatever the coming months bring, we are ready.”


He added: “Conditions can change quickly, so please take care when out and about. If you find yourself behind a gritting vehicle, please be patient and take care on freshly gritted roads.”

Dorset Council gritting the A35 trunk road between Bere Regis and Charmouth on behalf of National Highways.


Last winter was one of the longest and coldest winters for many years and the gritting crew were called into action 170 times over 148 days from November 18 to April 14.


That was double the number of call-outs in 2021/22. In total, they carried out 1,659 individual route treatments, using 5,615 tonnes of salt.


The busiest month for gritter drivers was December when they were called out on 19 days and laid 2,128 tonnes of salt.


The council has invested in some new gritting vehicles this year to enhance its winter preparations, which are more efficient, with modern engines that have increased fuel economy.

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