Driving in snow storm on British Road By Jevanto Productions AdobeStock_186011296

Bedford Borough Council said its ‘winter maintenance period’ started on 22 October. This means gritting crews are ready to go out spreading salt on roads to keep traffic moving and safe, as temperatures drop.

While the weather is still a little warmer, you may see gritters out testing their equipment and making any final adjustments to routes, getting ready for the colder temperatures.

In addition to the usual gritting service, following the high levels of rain and wet weather last year, the Council has added a drainage vehicle to be on standby to make sure drains and gullies are as clear as possible to help any standing water drain away.

Throughout the winter period, professionally qualified officers collate information gathered by weather stations across the Borough, weather forecast updates, and satellite imagery software.

All of this information predicts road temperatures, whether it will snow, and what time these things are expected happen and that dictates when gritting runs happen.

While the salt does not directly melt the snow, it works by traffic mixing it in to create a salty solution which doesn’t freeze as quickly as water. This reduces the build-up of snow.

Cllr Charles Royden, portfolio holder for highways, said:

“From the start of our winter maintenance period, right through to it ending in March, our gritting crews are on standby. The work they do is really vital in keeping our roads safe and the traffic moving throughout the winter.”

The Gritter Twitter service will return to give updates on gritting runs and weather forecasts throughout the season.

These can also be checked on www.bedford.gov.uk/winterupdates. Later this year, a live map will be added to show where the gritters are on their runs.