Gritting and snow plough teams gear up to keep Sunderland moving this winter with more than £1million budget

Road teams are gearing up to keep Sunderland moving through winter, with gritters and snow ploughs at the ready.

More than £1million has been allocated by Sunderland City Council for winter maintenance services, including gritting and snow clearing, with 13,500 tonnes of salt is stockpiled for highways treatments.

A total of £1.039million is earmarked in the council’s Winter Service Policy, which has just been published with the priorities for the colder months.

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The city’s two main salt stocks are at Woodbine Terrace in Pallion and the Houghton Depot and to help with treatments, the council has specialised weather forecasting that predicts estimated road surface temperatures, including two city ice prediction stations.

Sunderland City Council has set down the priorities for Sunderland's Winter Maintenance services, including gritting and snow clearing.

A pilot project is also planned for this winter to install more highways sensors to further improve information about road surface temperatures.

Council chiefs say principal gritting routes include: the A1231, A690, A183, Newcastle Road, Ryhope Road, Southern Relief Road, A182, A195, and routes through Hetton, Houghton and Washington.

There are also more than 350 grit bins across the city which are placed where significant inclines meet a major road and are likely to be dangerous in icy conditions, or next to schools and hospitals.

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Sunderland City Council has announced its Winter plans.

Deputy Leader of Sunderland City Council and Cabinet Member for Clean Green City, Councillor Claire Rowntree said: "Annually, as a council we allocate an appropriate budget for our city's Winter Maintenance service and we outline the priorities for treating our highways during wintry and more severe weather.

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"Should be there be light snow and icy conditions forecast, our gritters are out pre-salting the highways. We do a lot of this work overnight and in the early hours of the morning preparing our highways for daytime traffic.

"We are all aware of how there can be longer periods of severe wintry weather and when we get these conditions the priority for gritters and snow clearing is always our main and busiest roads.

"We have to keep these main roads as clear as possible so people get to work, school or college, help to keep the emergency services moving, and see that goods and services can move across the city.

"Should there be heavy snow, we always look to divert staff onto clearing duties from footpaths near hospitals, in shopping centres, and outside schools and colleges."