Busy winter season comes to an end

Posted on: April 5, 2023 at 7:44 am

The official winter maintenance season has now ended although Island Roads will continue to monitor temperatures and respond to any threat of unseasonal freezing.

Between October and March, Island Roads undertook 50 gritting runs, using nearly 850 tonnes of salt – just over half the 1,600 tonnes stockpiled annually at the Stag Lane winter maintenance depot.

There were far more runs this season than the 32 undertaken in the previous year but slightly fewer that in 2020/21 when 53 runs were required.

This year was unusual in that the big majority of gritting runs were carried out in consecutive nights over two cold spells – between December 6-17 and between January 16-25, with two runs required on many of those days.

There were no runs at all required in either October and November and just one required in March. Unlike most of the UK, there was no snowfall requiring a highways response.

Dave Wallis, Island Roads operations manager, said: “It was unusual to see so much of the year’s activity concentrated in two main cold spells. I would like to thank the winter maintenance teams for their efforts during the season – once again they have worked very well in some pretty inclement conditions to keep the treated network safe and accessible for all road users.”

Each gritting run treats over 350km of road, which represents around 43% of the highway network. It means that during the winter, a total of 17,500km were gritted – that’s the equivalent of travelling around the Island 156 times.