Express & Star

Walsall Council prepared for winter period with tons of gritting salt at the ready

Walsall council's gritters are preparing for the winter season with thousands of tons of salt being kept in reserves.

Tarmac Depot and Grad Driver: Daz Hems, is ready for winter as they have a mountain of salt/ grit, ready to go.

The gritting salt reserves for Walsall Council are held by Tarmac Walsall Highways Maintenance, and this year, there are around 2,800 tons of salt being held in the barn for the wintery season ahead, after it was restocked in the summer.

Steve Chapman, contracts manager at Tarmac, said: "We receive weather forecasts from MeteoGroup which is forecast organisation, and with all of their data used for roads across the West Midlands, the decision makers at the council then have an idea of if or when we go out.

"We have five routes set up for the Walsall borough, and during the winter time, we change our working ours and do the gritting overnight.

"Each route takes approximately three to four hours to complete, with around 25 to 30 tons of salt distributed across the five routes.

"We normally do around 35 to 40 gritting shouts each winter, and so that only increases if we have heavy snow or bad weather.

"Our lads are working through the night to grit the roads, and so most people do think that they never see the gritters on the roads but it is because we complete it through the night.

"So, just because people don't see gritters out, it doesn't mean that we haven't been."

Tarmac splits the gritting route into five routes in the Walsall Borough, with one gritting vehicle for each route, and approximately 25 to 30 tonnes of salt is distributed on a typical night.

Councillor Kerry Murphy, for Highway Maintenance, said: “Ensuring the safety and mobility of our residents during the winter season is a top priority for Walsall Council.

"As part of our comprehensive winter service, we dedicate ourselves to clearing ice and snow from main roads and implementing preventive measures such as gritting.

"While we cannot treat every road, we remain committed to prioritising the safety of our community. As we enter this winter period, we will continue to work diligently to minimise the impacts of winter weather on our main roads, fostering safe and accessible travel for all."