Gritters ready to go as winter service starts

By on 30/09/2015 in News, Winter Alerts

Birmingham City Council’s highways partner, Amey, launch the city’s winter maintenance service tomorrow (Thursday 1st October) with gritter drivers ready and waiting for the first cold snap of the season.

In the five winters since Amey started delivering the service in 2010, the fleet of 25 gritters have travelled 212,000 miles spreading salt on the city’s roads, the equivalent to travelling nine times around the world.Gritter

And they will be on standby again 24-hours-a-day, seven days a week from tomorrow and will respond when ice is predicted on road surfaces or if snow settles on the highways.

Chris Lucas, Winter Maintenance Manager for Amey in Birmingham, explained: “Our gritters treat 1,200km (750miles) of road every time they are called out. That means just under half of the city’s roads, including the busiest major routes, bus routes and routes identified by the emergency services, receive treatment as a priority.”

“Our drivers work unsociable hours, in bad weather, and have to face all kinds of challenges on the roads, such as being obstructed by badly parked cars, but they do a tremendous job helping to keep the city moving.”

As well as working with Birmingham City Council, Amey crews also deliver winter services up and down the UK helping to keep road users as safe as possible during spells of icy weather.

The company will soon be launching a national campaign to help dispel some of the myths and explain some of the science behind how the UK prepares for wintery weather but until then, Chris and his team in Birmingham are keen to remind motorists to prepare and take precautions as the colder weather starts to take hold.

Tips for staying safe on the roads this winter:

• When clearing snow, do not use hot water – this will melt the snow but will replace it with black ice!

• Always consider if your journey is necessary when contemplating driving in wintery weather. Check local traffic bulletins and if you have to drive, make sure all windows and lights are clear of snow or frost. Make sure you have de-icer and a scraper with you.

• Adjust your driving to the conditions. Brake earlier and gently and manoeuvre with care. Also take a torch, blanket, some food, warm clothing, a mobile phone and a spade with you just in case you have any problems.

• If you do have to abandon your vehicle in really bad conditions, be careful and try not to cause an obstruction. Emergency vehicles and gritters are large vehicles and may need to get past.

More information on the highways winter maintenance service in Birmingham, including maps of gritting routes, can be found on the city council’s website:


Notes to editors:

•    In 2010, Amey won the Birmingham Highways Maintenance and Management Service contract to manage and maintain the city’s roads over the next 25 years. The contract will see a huge investment into the city’s road network and Amey is working in partnership with Birmingham City Council to deliver the contract. The works include refurbishment and improvement of the city’s roads, footways, bridges, tunnels, street lighting and traffic control systems.

•    Amey is a leading UK public and regulated services provider with over 21,000 employees.

•    Amey operates over 320 contracts, providing an unrivalled range of services including utilities, highways, waste management, rail, justice solutions, social housing and facilities management. Services are underpinned by our leading consulting and asset management capabilities, which allow us to offer stand-alone or integrated service solutions to a range of clients.

For more information, contact Lara Thorns on 07843 368954, email

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