Gritting teams are getting ready to hit the road again after working hard to prepare for the winter season ahead.
Staff at Kent County Council’s highway depots around the county have been rolling out practising the routes they will cover in the months ahead.
Last year, our crews regularly covered 58 primary main road routes using 15,618 tonnes of salt.
This year, working with partner organisation Amey Consulting, KCC is introducing a data model to ensure roads are kept safe for drivers in winter.
Using historical information, teams will be able to plan the most efficient routes by looking at road surface temperature sensor readings from previous years.
This approach will ensure the routes most likely to ice over are the ones that will be treated, reducing the amount of unnecessary gritting.
Salt bins will also be refilled to enable residents to make their own neighbourhoods safe, if an unexpected cold snap should occur.
Meanwhile the usual messages for drivers remain to make sure their vehicles are ready for winter and motorists drive to the conditions.
Kent County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, David Brazier, said: “It is exciting to see the evolution of ground-breaking technology and the data we can use to make sure we are able to keep Kent moving in adverse weather.
“We know winter is a critical time for our teams and with this additional information we will prioritise salting the right routes at the right times, putting KCC at the forefront of smart winter services.
“As well as making sure drivers have a smooth journey, we need residents to do their bit and make sure their vehicles are roadworthy.”
Nicola Blake, Amey Account Director in Kent, said: “Officially the winter period for our teams starts in the middle of October, however preparation for all eventualities begins before.
“We have worked with Kent County Council and our in-house consultancy team, AmeyConsulting, to look at past data that will help our teams to effectively and efficiently deliver our gritting programme.”
Visit www.kent.gov.uk/roads-and-travel/what-we-look-after/winter-service to find out how you can make sure you are ready for the winter weather ahead.