Birmingham City Council, in partnership with Amey, has launched its winter maintenance service which aims to keep the city moving safely over the winter months.
This year, the city will benefit from a fleet of brand new gritters and snow ploughs all equipped with state-of-the-art GPS (Global Positioning System) technology which records when, where and how much grit is being put on the roads.
The new vehicles and technology will mean the city is better prepared than ever before to cope with the extremes of winter weather.
The routes which are treated cover 1,200km and make up almost 50 per cent of the city’s roads. The routes have all been further refined for this winter to ensure that the gritters can cover the network in less time than before.
Pavements are also gritted where they are a priority, such as in the city centre. A team of specialists co-ordinate the service, constantly planning gritting routes, monitoring weather conditions and sending out gritters when necessary.
Gritting vehicles are on standby 24-hours-a-day, seven days a week from the beginning of October through to May. They are sent out when ice is predicted on road surfaces, although reactive gritting and snow ploughing is also carried out when large amounts of ice and snow settle on the roads.
It takes between three and four hours to grit the whole of the priority network in Birmingham, and gritters are fully loaded and on the road within an hour of call-out.
Cllr Timothy Huxtable, Cabinet Member for Transport, Environment and Regeneration, said:
”While some disruption is always inevitable, compared to other areas of the country we have generally managed to keep Birmingham moving during the more extreme weather conditions of recent years.
“Now with even more advanced vehicles and intelligence about how to use our more than adequate salt supplies, we will once again be doing all we can to support residents and businesses over the winter months.”
Mike Notman, Project Director at Amey, said:
“Birmingham has never been better prepared for winter than it is now thanks to a combination of new technology, an enhanced ability to monitor salt stocks, and the ability to call on extra vehicles from a central Amey hub if needed.”
Members of the public were able to view the new gritters and technology for themselves on Tuesday (1 November) when six of the fleet were on display in Victoria Square.
For more information please contact Simon Houltby 0121 303 3503