WORKERS at a depot in Tenbury are on standby in readiness for an early winter freeze or snowfall.

Worcestershire County Council’s gritting teams are now officially on standby ready for when the weather turns colder.

Over the summer months, the highways depots in Tenbury, Newlands, Stanford, Lydiate and Hinton have been re-stocked with over 14,000 tonnes of salt, which includes a 5,000 tonne reserve in case of an unusually harsh winter.

The Worcestershire Highways fleet of 32 gritting vehicles and the teams that drive them are ready to cover Worcestershire’s 1,000 miles of designated roads.

Last winter, the teams clocked up more than 50,000 miles across the county.

That’s the equivalent of more than twice around the world.

The Council will also be checking the county’s 1,320 grit bins to ensure they are full. The grit bins are available across the county of Worcestershire and maintained with stocks of a salt and grit mixture. They are provided for use on the public highway and footpaths only.

This means that the material that is put in the bins should not be used to clear private driveways and paths.

Last year saw an unusually early start to winter with some heavy snowfall before Christmas although typically the worse of the weather comes in January and February. Snowfall into March and April is not uncommon.

“Our gritting teams do a fantastic job keeping Worcestershire moving throughout the winter months,” said Alan Amos, the county council cabinet member with responsibility for highways who added that working conditions can be very harsh.

The start of the gritting season also means the Twitter account for roads and highways @worcstravel will go into ‘#grittertwitter’ mode, with a daily update on where and when the gritters could be going out.

For the latest information on this and to keep up to date follow @worcscc and @worcstravel.