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New gritting fleet ready for winter says council

NEW gritters will be out in force soon, after the county council boosted its winter fleet by 14.

The old vehicles were between 15 and 22 years old and becoming costly to maintain so the council has spent £780,000 on 14 gritters that are between three and four years old.

Second-hand vehicles are half the cost of brand new ones and the replacement vehicles are greener and meet modern emission standards.

Cllr Jeff Clarke, Warwickshire County Council portfolio holder for Transport & Environment, said: “These vehicles enhance our network’s resilience and demonstrate the council’s ongoing commitment to keeping the highway network open during spells of harsh weather.

“The costs to the local economy in terms of lost productivity are very significant so this is an investment that we will see a very quick return on.

“But while it is crucial that we keep the county moving, we are also making sure that we keep commuters safe. This is not just about clearing snow in extreme weather but making sure that roads are safe from the dangers of ice and unseen hazards in slightly less dramatic weather conditions which can have catastrophic consequences. These vehicles will make us ready to meet that challenge.”

By following twitter.com/warksgritting motorists will receive the latest information on the gritting activity being carried out by Warwickshire Highways teams.

The council said its 29-strong fleet travelled the equivalent of 4.6 times around the world last winter. They were deployed 104 times, each time covering over 46 per cent of the county’s highway network (approximately 1,100 miles) and spread between 125 and 250 tonnes of salt each run. More than 22,000 tonnes was spread throughout the county over the course of the winter.

The cost to the national economy is estimated to be in the region of £1bn for each day’s productivity lost according to the Centre for Economics and Business Research, meaning a daily fall in output of 20%.

Warwickshire Highways will be on duty 24/7 from October 2018 through April 2019 to ensure the main roads are accessible. Details of these routes, and more information of the impact on county council services, is available on our website at www.warwickshire.gov.uk/gritting

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