Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Cold weather warning for the weekend

DRIVERS are being advised to prepare for wintry conditions as forecasts suggest ice and snow could hit the county this weekend.

Gritters across the county are at the ready as a result of the forecasted weather over the coming weekend. The forecast suggests wintry conditions are expected in Essex which could result in poor driving conditions.

Essex County Council has taken the necessary measures to prepare for the weather by stocking up on salt in its depots and drawing up rotas for gritter drivers. Gritting routes have been tested on “dry runs” over the past few months to ensure as little disruption as possible when icy weather hits.

In addition, County-owned local salt bins have been topped up in preparation for the winter weather.

Cllr Eddie Johnson, Essex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways Delivery said: “Gritters are currently on standby following forecasts suggesting freezing temperatures in the county this weekend. We are fully prepared for the forecasted weather and focused on ensuring key routes are kept open and road surfaces are as safe as possible for drivers.

“The Council will play its part in keeping the roads safe but I would also advise drivers to take the necessary steps to prepare for the weather and to drive sensibly.”

The Council currently has approximately 15,500 tonnes of salt in stock with more deliveries available if and when required.

The winter officially began for highways maintenance engineers on October 26, starting with a “low-risk” period before moving up a gear into “high-risk" season in December.

The fleet of more than 60 vehicles covers about 2,000 miles of Essex highways including all major traffic routes and selected A and B roads. It uses around 200 tonnes of salt on each run, with each route on its salting network being treatable in a maximum of three hours.

Below is a “winter checklist” including a few key items drivers should consider travelling with in their vehicle this winter:

Ice scraper and de-icer

Bottled water


A torch

Blanket, rug or sleeping bag

Battery jump leads

Shovel (to dig out a car in extreme snow)

Bits of carpet or thick cardboard (to place under driven wheels to help regain traction on ice or snow)


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