Island Road’s official winter maintenance season ends tonight – although keen eyes remain on the weather forecast.
Island Roads shifts into Winter mode from the end of October each year with its fleet of gritters and their crews primed for action during the annual autumn parade and remaining on standby until April.
This year, the fleet has been kept busy on 28 gritting rounds in which over 500 tonnes of salt were deposited on the network to keep it ice-free in freezing and near-freezing temperatures. This is approximately half the amount of runs and salt used over the same winter period in 2020/21.
This season did however see some intensive storm-related activity including the three named storms and record-breaking winds that ravaged the Island over the weekend of February 18-20.
Between the Friday and Monday morning alone, there were 224 reported storm-related issues affecting the highway – among the busiest periods of activity experienced by Island Roads since it began maintaining the network in 2013.
Though the designated winter season may be drawing to a close, Island Roads will continue to monitor the weather and deploy the gritters again if necessary.
Island Roads operations and maintenance manager Dave Wallis said: “Last year we had two salting runs in April so while the official winter season may be almost over we will continue to monitor the specialist weather reports we receive and respond as necessary – not least in the coming days when some cold weather is forecast.”
Cllr Phil Jordan, IW Council cabinet member responsible for highways and transportation said: “There have been some very testing weather events this year and I would like to thank all those who have worked – sometimes in very difficult conditions – to keep the network open and safe this winter.”