How many gritters exist?
Gritters have been dispatched onto UK roads as the country heads into a cold snap.
Here the PA news agency answers seven key questions about the vehicles:
Winter is here!❄️
During icy, wintery weather, help us treat the gritting network by leaving enough space for our gritters to get through.
We're sometimes unable to treat roads because parked vehicles block our route. Our trucks need a clear width of 3.5m between parked cars. pic.twitter.com/fFVc2PYzPl
— Calderdale Council (@Calderdale) December 7, 2022
– What are gritters?
Vehicles that spread rock salt.
– What does the salt do?
When it is spread before road surfaces drop below zero degrees Celsius it minimises the chances of frost or ice forming.
– How about snow?
Salt does not stop snow from settling on road surfaces, but it makes it easier for the snow to be removed.
– How many gritters exist
National Highways – which manages motorways and major A-roads in England – has 535 gritters based at 128 depots.
The Local Government Association said councils in England – which manage local roads – have an average of eight gritters and three pieces of related equipment such as snow blowers, tractors and quad bikes.
– How much salt is there?
The Local Government Association said councils in England have stockpiled a total of 1.4 million tonnes of salt.
National Highways has more than 280,000 tonnes of salt stored in barns at the start of each winter.
– Is that enough?
It depends on how bad the conditions are over the winter, but there are currently enough supplies for all gritters.
– Has the cost of salt increased?
English councils said the price of gritting salt has risen by an average of 2% in the past 12 months.
Five authorities reported increases of more than 10%.