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Winter maintenance is here

Sunderland City Council's preparations for wintry weather are underway


The city council's Winter Service Policy has now been published and is online at:

It is published annually and sets down the priorities for Sunderland's Winter Maintenance services, including gritting and snow clearing.

For this winter, a budget of £1.039m has been allocated and 13,500 tonnes of salt is stockpiled for highways treatments.

Deputy Leader of Sunderland City Council and Cabinet Member for Clean Green City, Councillor Claire Rowntree said: "Annually, as a council we allocate an appropriate budget for our city's Winter Maintenance service and we outline the priorities for treating our highways during wintry and more severe weather.

"Should be there be light snow and icy conditions forecast, our gritters are out pre-salting the highways. We do a lot of this work overnight and in the early hours of the morning preparing our highways for daytime traffic.

"We are all aware of how there can be longer periods of severe wintry weather and when we get these conditions the priority for gritters and snow clearing is always our main and busiest roads.

"We have to keep these main roads as clear as possible so people get to work, school or college, help to keep the emergency services moving, and see that goods and services can move across the city.

"Should there be heavy snow, we always look to divert staff onto clearing duties from footpaths near hospitals, in shopping centres, and outside schools and colleges."

The council's two main salt stocks are at Woodbine Terrace in Pallion and its Houghton Depot. To help with treatments, the council has specialised weather forecasting that predicts estimated road surface temperatures, including two city ice prediction stations. A pilot project is also planned for this winter to install more highways sensors to further improve information about road surface temperatures. 

Principal gritting routes include: the A1231, A690, A183, Newcastle Road, Ryhope Road, Southern Relief Road, A182, A195, and routes through Hetton, Houghton and Washington.

Cllr Rowntree added: "When we get wintry and freezing temperatures, please drive as the road conditions dictate, please be patient, and show consideration to others.

"Importantly, please, please remember to see the gritters as if they are emergency vehicles, keep your distance and let them through if you can."

There are more than 350 grit bins across the city. These are placed where significant inclines access a major road, next to inclines likely to be dangerous in icy conditions, or next to schools and hospitals.

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