More than 250 tonnes of gritting salt is set to be spread on Bath & North East Somerset highways during the current period of cold weather.

There are more than 400 grit bins across Bath & North East Somerset, each filled with gritting salt ahead of the winter season ready for communities to use for footways and highways in their area. Each grit bin’s location can be seen on this map.

With the UK currently experiencing freezing overnight temperatures for most of this week, the council’s highways team will be gritting priority routes to help keep road users safe and traffic moving.

The council, which maintains 1,102km of highway, operates nine gritting vehicles with contractor VolkerHighways, which are deployed to prioritised highways like A roads, B roads, bus routes and roads which provide access to schools and hospitals. Each vehicle is equipped with technology that allows them to spread the right amount of gritting salt onto different roads.

There are 18 specially trained drivers on stand-by to respond when required.

An average of 58 gritting runs are carried out and around 2,500 tonnes of gritting salt are used each year.

Up to 1,300 tonnes of salt is kept in dry storage at the council’s salt barn in its Clutton depot, with capacity for a further 1,000 tonnes to soon be stored in a new salt barn in Keynsham, built as part of the Keynsham Recycling Hub.

The council monitors specialist advanced weather forecasts and data from its own weather stations to decide whether gritting is necessary, usually when road surface temperatures are forecasted to be close to or below zero. These forecasts are also used to identify the most effective time of day to spread gritting salt. 

Councillor Manda Rigby, cabinet member for Transport, said: “As always, we advise everyone travelling in colder conditions, whether you’re walking, wheeling, cycling or driving, to take all the necessary steps to stay safe.

“Our grit runs help keep priority routes on our network open and running, these routes and all our grit bins can be seen on our website and used to plan the safest route possible for your journey.”

Last winter the Highways team:

  • Carried out 61 gritting runs
  • Used 2,481 tonnes of salt
  • Gritted 15,921 miles of highway

You can see a map of the council’s gritting routes here.