Island Roads’ gritters will be out on the Island’s highways network this Saturday (Oct 28).
But it is not preparation for a cold snap – Island Roads will be undertaking its annual ‘autumn parade’ which is a programme of activity to help ensure the winter maintenance fleet and its drivers are fully prepared for colder months ahead.
During the day, all the winter drivers will re-familiarise themselves with their routes and be brought up to speed with any changes in legislation or safety procedures. The fleet and equipment will also be tested to ensure it is ready for use.
The gritting fleet comprises eleven vehicles – six frontline gritters (which were named Goliath, Brad Gritt, Snowy, George, Sally the Salt Spreader and Frosty by local school children) supported by other back up and specialist vehicles.
The salt supply at Island Roads’ winter maintenance depot at Stag Lane has already been topped up to a level of 1,600 tonnes. By way of comparison, last year a total of 800 tonnes was used on the network in a winter season that included the busiest night of gritter activity so far in the Highways PFI contract.
Island Roads relies on several sources of information to determine whether the network requires treatment. Firstly, there is a bespoke forecast supplied specifically for the Island by a national meteorological service and in addition to this we also receive continuous readings and information from our two weather stations at Duxmore and Rowridge. Added to this is on-the-ground visual inspections by Island Roads staff.
The gritting routes will be the same as in previous years and will be available to view via the homepage of www.islandroads.com