Ready to beat the big freeze

Cllr Brian Stephens at the county council's
Cllr Brian Stephens at the county council's
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COUNCIL bosses have stepped up their plans to keep motorists on the move this winter.

Durham County Council has “reviewed and updated” its winter maintenance plan, which sets out how it will deal with snowy and icy conditions on the roads.

Work is already under way to ensure adequate salt stocks and bins are made available, and a fleet of specialist vehicles, including additional on-call tractor ploughs, are on stand-by.

John Reed, head of technical services at the local authority, said: “We are already putting in place measures to ensure that we are as prepared as we possibly can be for any winter weather.

“We have stocked up our salt supplies and we have already had our gritters out and about in the last couple of weeks.

“We will be targeting key routes, including most major roads and bus routes, as well as areas where we know there have been problems in the past. Our priority will be to keep people moving and to minimise delays on the county’s roads.”

The council will hold more than 42,000 tonnes of salt, ready for use, and maintain a fleet of 37 gritters fitted with the latest technology in salting and ice prevention.

Contract arrangements are also in place to use an additional 70 tractor ploughs.

A total of 2,500 salt bins in various locations are being filled so that residents can help clear areas around their homes.

Councillor Brian Stephens, cabinet member for neighbourhoods and local partnerships, said: “We know that winter maintenance is really important to the public. We are doing everything we can to make all journeys as safe as possible.”