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Essex Highways wraps up winter service after wettest recorded winter in 130 years

News / Thu 18th Apr 2024 at 10:24am

ESSEX Highways is wrapping up this season’s winter service following the wettest recorded winter in 130 years.

High levels of rainfall brought significant challenges, with frozen conditions and icy roads meaning additional work for crews.

Working closely with local, city, parish, and town councils to overcome the winter conditions, including two major storms, this winter Essex Highways crews have:

  • carried out gritting runs across Essex over 80 times, spreading salt to melt away ice and stop it from forming into hazards
  • used over 10,000 tonnes of salt to keep roads ice-free and safe following wet conditions
  • gritted approximately 40% of the total road network in Essex, over 2,000 miles
  • deployed 55 gritting lorries, including 10 new ones, along with two mini gritters
  • covered each of the 51 gritter routes across Essex, ensuring critical routes remained safe and accessible for all highway users

The county’s gritters will return for the 2024/25 winter season later this year. This starts in late October when temperatures begin to cool.

In addition to its regular yearly budget, Essex Highways has been allocated an extra £300,000 to deliver more maintenance and emergency repairs during the next winter season.

This additional funding reinforces Essex County Council’s commitment to delivering safer, greener, and healthier travel across the county for Essex residents.

Robbie Jamieson, Winter Service and Area Highways Manager at Essex Highways, said: “Fortunately we didn’t see much snow over winter, but we saw plenty of rain. The heavy rainfall meant that more roads stayed wet and froze over, creating ice and other hazards like potholes that skilled crews worked tirelessly to address.

“I’d like to thank all the crews who were out there gritting our roads early in the morning when it was cold and dark so that residents could travel safely during the day.

“It’s worth remembering that our gritter drivers were also out helping pothole make-safe crews maintain and repair our network from winter-related hazards when they weren’t gritting. Their commitment and hard work must be commended.”

Essex Highways is now preparing for the favourable conditions of spring and summer to focus on the re-surfacing season.

More information on Essex Highways’ winter service can be found at: www.essexhighways.org/about-our-winter-service.

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