Four Shires Magazine

Dec 05th
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Keeping the roads safe

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grittersThousands of tons of salt have been stockpiled in Northamptonshire in preparation for the improved winter road-gritting programme.
Northamptonshire County Council’s highways contractor MGWSP will keep 1,200 miles of highways salted and will endeavour to ensure the roads are as safe as possible and reduce the delays caused by bad weather.
The winter maintenance plan runs until April 30. The road network is monitored 24 hours a day and a weather forecast is received each day at midday.
Gritting is done on a priority basis around the county depending on the data collected relating to past accidents or problem areas. A salting network has been devised so that roads carrying the highest amounts of traffic and with the highest risk of accidents are treated.
MGWSP has increased the number of gritting routes from 25 last year to 31 this winter to ensure more villages are linked to the primary routes. There are also 12 new additional drivers.
The roads that are treated are split into priority one and priority two routes. Priority one routes are the county’s major roads, forming the backbone of the road network within the county.
Priority two routes, though less important, comprise other heavily trafficked routes, bus routes and roads servicing other key locations and important buildings, such as hospitals, doctors surgeries and schools.
The Motorways and Trunk roads are the responsibility of the Highways Agency.

Your Vehicle
Clean the windscreen and all windows of frost and ice
Don’t set off until the heater has de-misted the inside glass
Add low temperature screen wash to the washer bottle
Carry a de-icer spray in the vehicle, stop (in a safe place) and use it if necessary

Your Journey
Consider whether your journey is essential
Set off early to allow for
- Slower speeds
- Possible hold-ups due to accidents
- Possible single lane traffic on dual carriageways due to snow
Keep a longer gap than normal between you and the vehicle in front - much longer when there is ice or snow on the road
Brake and accelerate more gently on wet, snowy or icy surfaces
Use dipped headlights in mist, fog, falling snow or heavy rain
Use your rear fog lights in fog, mist or falling snow but not in rain and turn them off as soon as conditions allow

All lights and indicators are working and clean
All tyres have a good tread depth (legal minimum is 1.6mm) and are at the correct pressure
The battery is in good condition (most winter breakdowns are electrical)

Ensure you have “outside” clothing with you in case you have to get out of your vehicle
Watch out for vulnerable road users - you share responsibility for their safety
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 03 December 2008 09:36 )  


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