WIRRAL council has a full salt barn and 10 full size gritters on standby to tackle the ice and snow this winter.
The council has now put together its blueprint to keep people moving in inclement weather and says its highways contractor, Colas, will be on standby 24-hours-a-day from Monday, November 12 to Monday, April 8, ready to respond when forecasters suggest gritting will be needed.
Also included in the Highways Winter Service Plan are two mini-gritters available for use and snow ploughs will also be available with each of the 10 full-size gritters.
In total 10 main gritting routes are to be continually assessed to ensure that major bus routes, certain school routes and strategic vehicle routes across Wirral are treated.
And supplementing the work that the gritters are doing out on the strategic and main roads there will be 286 grit bins installed and stocked up across the borough.
Around 100 of the grit bins are in locations identified by the council as potentially hazardous i.e. hills and road junctions not on gritting routes.
Cllr Harry Smith, Wirral Council Cabinet Member for Streetscene and Transport Services, said: “We have a duty as a local authority to keep people moving safely even when it’s icy or there has been snowfall.”
Although last year was considered to be an average winter the previous two seriously tested the council’s preparedness for and response to problems caused by ice and snow.
The council says its existing plans have enabled it to handle winter challenges successfully in the main but there are always lessons to be learned.
While the council has finalised its plans to help keep main roads and other key routes safe and passable this winter it is urging motorists and residents to do their bit.
Drivers are asked to allow extra time for their journeys, reduce their speed, pack an emergency kit for long trips, dress warmly and check the car is in good condition. And residents are being asked to help by clearing ice and snow from the pathways outside their homes and businesses and to check on vulnerable residents.