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Preparations are underway to keep County Durham moving this winter

Nov 29, 2023 | Leisure & Lifestyle

A North East council is ready to keep its county moving during winter.

Durham County Council’s preparations are well under way to ensure priority roads are kept clear during the winter months.

While the weather has started to become colder, the council’s highways team has been preparing since the summer to ensure the roads are clear of ice and snow.

Each year the council stocks 42,000 tonnes of salt ready to tackle any ice and snow on the county’s roads, as well as replenishing more than 2,500 salt bins in key community locations.

The authority starts taking deliveries from June to ensure salt barns at its depots are fully stocked to meet the amount required to maintain roads and pathways throughout the coming months.

Cllr John Shuttleworth, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for highways, rural communities, and community safety, said: “Our priority is to keep people safe and moving at all times of the year. With over 2,000km of roads to maintain across the county, we begin our winter preparations early to ensure roads are clear in all weather.

“Residents can be reassured that we will be out and about throughout the winter to ensure our roads and footpaths are clear and safe.”

During the winter season, 1,700km of priority one routes are treated covering almost half of the county’s road network.

Minor routes, such as priority two routes which cover more than 380km, will also be treated in times of prolonged severe weather.

Each of the council’s 40 power gritters are fitted with 360-degree cameras and trackers that provide up-to-date information on driving conditions.

There are also 12 road weather station cameras used to monitor road surface temperatures, wind speed, residual salt levels and humidity. These provide live updates every ten minutes.

Residents can use these cameras to check the weather and traffic conditions in order to plan their journeys. To see the latest gritting routes, road closures, and advice on how to prepare for emergencies, visit www.durham.gov.uk/winterinfo

The council also has winter safety advice to keep residents safe, warm and healthy during the cold weather, which can be found at www.durham.gov.uk/warmandwell