Gritting situation report to full council

By on 12/01/2010 in News

Cabinet Member for Transportation and Street Services, Cllr Len Gregory today told full council:

  • Central Government have introduced the Salt Cell. This was first introduced last winter and has been reactivated to provide a fair and equitable distribution of rock salt across the country.
  • Salt Cell comprises of Government, LGA, Highways Agency and Salt Suppliers.
  • 925 tonnes of rock salt remain in stock which equates to 9 gritting operations (runs).
  • 140 tonnes were delivered Monday 11th January 2010 as agreed by the Salt Cell.
  • Highways have procured 600 tonnes of unrefined table salt which although unsuitable for gritting vehicles is being mixed with sand and used to refill grit bins and treat footways.
  • Government have asked for a 25% saving on gritting by all Local Authorities with the potential to reduce by 40% and 60% if necessary.
  • Birmingham has reduced spreads from 20g to 10g which complies with 25% reduction and meets 40%.  If the reduction to 60% was necessary then grit bin refill and footway operation would be suspended.
  • The Birmingham priority gritted network has been treated on 34 occasions over 28 consecutive nights – the previous record was 14 consecutive nights.
  • The priority gritted network comprises of 1,182km (734miles) or 50% of the total length of carriageway in the city.
  • This network is made up of 27 priority routes which includes the major network plus all frequent bus routes, roads identified by the emergency services (Blue Routes) and major housing estate access.
  • Highways have and will continue to respond to the needs of professional partners, emergency services, bus operators and key utility operators i.e. Severn Trent Water.
  • Highways staff continue with the second complete refill of all 1034 highway grit bins.
  • The City Centre and designated shopping centre footways have been   gritted and cleared repeatedly within the resources available.
  • Current weather forecast is for warm south westerly air to meet cold air and bring sleet or snow to the Birmingham area in the next 24 hours.  There is no certainty or confidence on amounts this evening although initial estimates are for upto 5cm of fresh snow fall.
  • The forecast towards the end of the week is for warmer daytime temperatures but potentially sub zero overnight.
  • Councillor Gregory wishes to formally thank all the Winter Maintenance Team for their efforts to keep Birmingham moving and in particular the gritting operatives and fleet maintenance staff for their hard work in unpleasant conditions.

Winter maintenance and gritting plans – http://birminghamnewsroom.com/?p=5746

School closures and other useful information: www.birmingham.gov.uk/weather-disruption

Protocol on School Closures: http://birminghamnewsroom.com/?p=5893

Weather Updates

BBC: http://news.bbc.co.uk/weather/forecast/2102

Met Office: http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/weather/uk/wm/wm_forecast_weather.html

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