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Wigan Borough is ready for the cold snap

“Be prepared for winter weather” is the message from the council as gritting season begins and winter fast approaches.

Wigan Council’s operational gritting team carried out its first test run of the route last week as it prepares for temperatures dropping over winter.

The salt barn at Makerfield Depot in Ince is currently filled with 3,500 tonnes of gritting salt and ten council gritting trucks are ready to go in the event of bad weather.

The council is ready to keep Wigan Borough moving and is encouraging residents to be prepared too.

If residents feel their local street needs a grit bin they can apply to the council or are advised to buy their own rock salt in advance of the cold snap to grit their own driveways and smaller streets.

The council has also backed the national campaign from charity Living Streets for people to help clear the paths of elderly neighbours so they can leave their homes in the cold weather.

If residents want to grit their own street and look after their neighbours the council can provide support.

Wigan Borough’s road network is 1,040km long – the second longest in Greater Manchester. It is only main roads that are gritted, including principal bus routes and routes for emergency services.

Last year the council invested in new vehicles and started using a new improved gritting salt which is cheaper and does a better job of evenly covering the roads.

Cllr Kevin Anderson, cabinet member for environment, said: “We’re well prepared if cold weather does materialise and are encouraging residents to be prepared too. Our fleet of gritters, mechanical excavators and tractors are on standby 24 hours a day ready to treat the roads.

“Officers monitor both road and weather conditions around the clock, analysing information from local weather stations, the Met Office and visual inspections to decide when treatment should start.

“We’ve invested in our winter maintenance services so we are better able to cope should we experience severe conditions this winter.

“It is crucial residents get themselves prepared too and take simple steps to make sure they can grit their own drive or path if it gets icy.

“We can provide support and equipment if a resident or a group of residents want to look after their street. As part of The Deal we’d also ask people to keep an eye on elderly neighbours over the winter period and make sure their paths and driveways are clear so they can safely leave their homes.”

The council will announce when it is intending to treat the borough’s roads on its social media channels Twitter and Facebook.

For more information about winter services visit www.wigan.gov.uk/winter

For more information about signing up to look after your own street this winter contact Network Management.

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