Winter is just about snow and ice, right?
Wrong! When we say winter weather, we mean flooding, storms, heavy rain, strong winds, and of course, snow and ice!
We’re well prepared for whatever conditions the winter ahead throws at us.
Our gritting teams have already completed their first run of the season, and are on full-time standby, meaning they could be called out any time, day or night.
Winter also means a busy time for our drainage teams as heavy rain, storms and flooding can lead to a spike in demand for their services, and when high winds lead to fallen trees, it is the forestry team who will be called out.
As for our emergency response team, their 24/7, 365 days-a-year role can be easily impacted by adverse weather and could see them dealing with anything from managing road closures, to delivering sandbags and putting out flood boards.
So remember, when you’re tucked up at home as the weather turns colder, it’s not just our gritting teams who will be out in the elements to keep you safe!
Ever wondered how much grit we use, how many gritting runs we do in a year, or even how many gritting drivers we have?
Well, look no further than our winter facts to find out all you need to know!
Our favourite stat to give out is that each time we go out gritting, we cover 1,050,000m2, which is equivalent to 100 large football pitches!
We go out gritting when forecasts suggest that road temperatures will be at zero degrees or below.
So, when our fleet of gritters take to the roads? How do they know where to go? Do they grit different roads each time, or do they make it up as they go alone?
Neither of these are true.
We have a network of gritting routes – main routes and severe weather routes.
Main routes are made up of A roads and B roads and major bus routes. These routes alone total around 1,120 miles, which is one third of Nottinghamshire’s entire road network and further than driving from Lands’ End to John O’Groats!
Severe weather routes are the routes we cover when forecasts suggest weather conditions are going to be particularly bad. These include one road to every major settlement, some steep residential roads and access routes to special schools.
Every winter we get many enquiries saying ‘gritters have missed out my street’ and so we want you to know that every time we go out on main routes, we cover every street on the route unless exceptional circumstances mean we cannot.
It may surprise you to know that gritters spreading salt on the road is only the start of the de-icing process.
When we go out gritting, we spread salt on the roads. This salt mixes with any moisture present to form a saline solution (salty water), which has a lower freezing point than water.
So it’s this mixing and solution which helps to stop ice from forming on the roads.
But this still isn’t the whole story, because did you know that traffic is essential to this process? The movement of vehicles helps the grit to move around and form the solution, making it key to our gritting process.
Whether it’s knowing what items to keep in your car this winter or advice on checking your tyres, we’ve got you covered.
It’s really important to take a few minutes to prepare and make sure that you and your car are all set, so on our winter car checks page, you’ll find advice on:
- tyre checks
- screen wash
- what to keep inside your car
- battery health
As we’ve already mentioned, when it comes to winter, it’s not all about snow and ice.
Have you ever been driving in heavy rain or high winds and wondered how best to stay safe?
Well, look no further than our safe driving in winter advice which covers:
- driving in heavy rain
- driving during flooding
- driving in high winds
- and of course, driving in snow and icy conditions