Bury Council’s winter service team is gearing up to work day and night and keep key roads across the borough clear over the winter months.
The first grit run last year was on 28 November 2022 and the service was activated a further 55 times, with gritters travelling around 12,260 miles and spreading approximately 1,500 tonnes of salt.
The service is on standby from late October until the start of April, ready to act whenever temperatures take a dip. Decisions to grit, or not grit, are based on the local forecast provided by Metdesk. There are 16 drivers and four decision makers on a rota throughout the season. On a single shift, the team on standby is made up of four drivers and one decision maker.
Four vehicles are used to cover the four gritting routes, each taking up to five hours to complete, depending on traffic and weather conditions. A spare vehicle is also kept in reserve, in case of breakdowns.
In preparation for the onset of severe weather conditions, Bury Council has a stock of 2,500 tonnes of Safecote treated salt which is stored at Bolton Council’s depot to improve opportunities for sharing resources should the need arise. Safecote salt is used because it is coated with molasses and sticks to the road surface better. It is also less corrosive.
There are 324 salt bins in place at known trouble spots across the borough, such as where there are sharp bends or steep inclines and where historically snow and ice have caused serious problems.
Councillor Alan Quinn, cabinet member for the environment, climate change and operations, said: “We plan well ahead to be ready for the arrival of winter and to make sure our experienced team is ready for action. Keeping Bury moving and keeping people safe is a priority.
“Forecasts will be constantly monitored so that we can pick the best times to send the gritters out and our team will be on standby 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, working through the night until next April when needed.
“Almost 142 miles of roads are salted during one round of complete gritting – 35% of the total road network in the borough. And, when necessary, gritting teams also carry out snow clearance, with ploughs fitted to vehicles.”
For more information about the winter service, including a list of treated roads and streets, self-help salt bin locations and advice on clearing ice and snow from pavements, visit www.bury.gov.uk/gritting.
For all the latest updates and alerts from Bury Council follow @BuryCouncil.
Residents can also prepare for winter by following advice from The Met Office.
Press release issued: 7 November 2023.