The fleet of gritters responsible for treating the Island’s roads this winter will be out and about this weekend (Saturday 27 October) for their annual ‘autumn parade’.
The day of activity by Island Roads’ winter maintenance fleet ensures the specialist vehicles and their drivers are fully prepared for the colder months ahead.
Staff will re-familiarise themselves with the gritting routes and be brought up to speed with any changes in legislation or safety procedures. All the fleet and equipment will also be tested to ensure it is ready for use.
Last winter was the busiest on record for Island Roads, with the big freeze leading to gritters being sent out on 53 gritting runs, spreading 1,456 tonnes of salt on the network.
Island Roads is ready for another winter season with 1,600 tonnes of salt at its Stag Lane depot – with supplies topped up throughout the season as required.
The fleet comprises six frontline gritters (Brad Gritt, Snowy, Frosty, Sally the Salt Spreader, David and Goliath – as named by local school children) along with back up and specialist vehicles.
Bespoke weather forecasting for the Island from the MeteoGroup helps Island Roads plan for freezing conditions, along with data provided by weather stations located at Duxmore and Rowridge, which send continuous readings to staff at Island Roads’ base at Daish Way in Newport.
This information is always supplemented by on-the-ground visual inspections from Island Roads staff.
The gritting routes, which link the Island’s main towns and villages, will be the same as previous years and are available to view via the homepage of www.islandroads.com.
Winter maintenance activities are part of the Island’s Highway Improvement Programme which is financed in the main through a grant of £477 million awarded by the Department for Transport.