THE council is gearing up for the cold winter by preparing its grit supplies.
It has already taken steps to prepare for any bad weather that could affect the city’s roads and the ‘salt barn’ at the council’s Bleak Hall depot is full with a new and more effective type of rock salt, coated in a sugar beet derivative allowing it to ‘stick’ to the road when spread.
This means the salt stays evenly spread across the road surface and is also more cost effective as it will reduce the amount required.
Milton Keynes has around 3,500 tonnes of rock salt stored in the salt barn and in the yellow salt bins at various places around the city.
The council has a plan of priority gritting routes that cover all the main grids roads, main estate spine roads and various rural routes. A map detailing these routes can be found in the council’s Winter Travel Advice leaflet or on its website.
All bus routes, access roads to hospitals and other emergency services are also salted. In total, priority routes cover over half of the total road network.
Residents can use the grit in the yellow salt bins to grit small roads and footpaths. This grit is not for use on private driveways.
There are over 400 salt bins across the borough on various residential streets with locations chosen with the help of communities who highlighted problem areas during bad weather.
The council has three fully automated weather stations which constantly monitor weather conditions and road temperatures giving it prior notice of frost, snow or ice.
From November through to April, the council’s winter maintenance duty officers use the information as well as data from the European weather forecasting centre, to analyse the impact that it will have at a local level.
Cabinet member for Transport and Highways, Councillor John Bint, said, “Milton Keynes Council is better prepared than ever before, to keep residents and business traffic moving in extreme winter weather. This year we have good stocks of rocksalt, improved gritting routes, and new arrangements for locations with particularly vulnerable residents”.
Regular updates on salting activity can be found on the council’s website, and people can follow the team on Twitter at #Twit4GritMK. Residents can also email the team at firstname.lastname@example.org