Gritting in Bury St Edmunds: Suffolk Highways shares which roads it prioritises
As the weather reaches its mid winter nadir, Suffolk Highways teams are busy treating roads to keep motorists safe.
The county council-run organisation follows a specific formula in deciding which roads across its network, spanning thousands of miles, it prioritises for gritting.
First in line for the gritters - which often come with funky names such as Father Gritmas and Saltasaurus - are, as the name suggests 'priority one' routes.
Where is treated
Priority one relates to 37 routes, all A and B roads, roads to 24 hour fire stations, roads where traffic exceeds 4,000 vehicles a day, long hills and major bus routes.
The goal is to complete the treatment of priority one routes one hour before the onset of weather of 1°C or lower.
Teams also look to complete it within two and a half hours of starting it.
Priority two relates to 34 routes, and relates to significant bus routes, roads leading to rural villages and access to other schools.
Treatments on priority two routes are carried out when the forecast predicts there to be a longer period of hazardous conditions.
Treatment will normally be carried out in the morning with the view to completion by 7.30am and the commencement of the main commuter traffic flow.
This amounts to 51 per cent of the county's road network.
What is done?
Salting roads can prevent and reduce ice up to a certain point, but in severely cold conditions - Highways teams can turn to grit.
Grit does not remove the ice, but gives better traction to drive on.
When snow stands at 50mm deep it has to be ploughed.
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More by this authorWilliam Mata