Grit lorries are ready to roll as winter looms

Thousands of tons of grit have been stockpiled across the Black Country as councils prepare for the winter months.

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A fleet of seven gritters are on standby at the Walsall Council depot in Apex Road, Brownhills, where 3,500 tons are being stored. Council bosses say gritters are being sent out to test equipment and more than 170 grit bins will be replenished.

Walsall transport chief Tom Ansell said: “We treat more than 200 miles of roads across Walsall tapping into some sophisticated weather data to help us work out when it is best to go and treat our roads.”

In Wolverhampton, the city council has 4,200 tons of salt. Spokesman Tim Clark said: “We are constantly monitoring the highways and if the gritters are needed they are ready.” An extra 123 tons of grit will be at Sandwell Council’s disposal as it looks to keep roads across the borough running smoothly when temperatures drop.

A mild winter meant the authority had 4,384 tons left over from last year and this has been topped up to give a total of 7,073 tons. Last year, 1,184 tons were spread in Walsall and 1,893 in Wolverhampton.

Dudley Council has ordered 6,000 tons while Worcestershire County Council, which covers Wyre Forest, has 13,000 tons.