New vehicles to join Warwickshire’s gritting fleet

After its current fleet travelled the equivalent of 4.6 journeys around the world last winter, Warwickshire County Council has updated its winter fleet to ensure that Warwickshire’s roads are geared up for the winter conditions.

The county council has strengthened its winter maintenance fleet with the procurement of 14 replacement vehicles, at a cost of £780,000.

The 14 3-4 year old vehicles replace 14 15-22 year old vehicles which are time-expired and becoming more and more costly to maintain. Newer vehicles are more environmentally friendly as they meet modern vehicle emission standards.

The vehicles have been purchased through Econ, one of the leading UK manufacturers of winter vehicles. Second hand vehicles come at around 50% of the  cost of new models.

The council has a frontline fleet of 29 gritters from six depots covering the county’s roads and helping clear ice and snow to keep communities moving. During the winter of 2017/18, Warwickshire’s gritters

  • were deployed on 104 occasions
  • each time covering over 46% of the county’s highway network (approximately 1,100 miles)
  • spread between 125 and 250 tonnes of salt each run
  • spread over 22,000 tonnes throughout the county over the course of the winter

The cost to the national economy is estimated to be in the region of £1bn for each day’s productivity lost according to the Centre for Economics and Business Research, meaning a daily fall in output of 20%.

Cllr Jeff Clarke, Warwickshire County Council portfolio holder for Transport & Environment said: “These vehicles enhance our network’s resilience and demonstrate the council’s ongoing commitment to keeping the highway network open during spells of harsh weather.

“The costs to the local economy in terms of lost productivity are very significant so this is an investment that we will see a very quick return on.

“But while it is crucial that we keep the county moving, we are also making sure that we keep commuters safe. This is not just about clearing snow in extreme weather but making sure that roads are safe from the dangers of ice and unseen hazards in slightly less dramatic weather conditions which can have catastrophic consequences.  These vehicles will make us ready to meet that challenge.”

By following twitter.com/warksgritting motorists will receive the latest information on the gritting activity being carried out by Warwickshire Highways teams.

Warwickshire Highways will be on duty 24/7 from October 2018 through April 2019 to ensure the main roads are accessible. Details of these routes, and more information of the impact on county council services, is available on our website at www.warwickshire.gov.uk/gritting