Gritting service bosses are gearing up for icy weather in Sheffield with a series of improvements in place.
The number of weather stations used to measure falling temperatures has been increased from two to five and an additional private contractor has been brought in for rural roads.
Chris Morris, operations director for Sheffield Council Streets Ahead contractor Amey, said: “We had a busy start to our contract last year with a 60 per cent increase in the number of gritting runs compared with the previous winter – but coped well.
“Although there were complaints, we also had a large number of compliments and praise from business leaders.
“We have the same number of gritters – 25 – and crew but we have made a net increase in the number of farmers and other subcontractors of one to improve coverage of rural roads.”
Mr Morris said a big change being brought in for the first time is improving weather data in different areas of the city.
“We had weather stations at Hillfoot and Moscar but we have added ones at Cowley Hill, Birley and Meadowhead to give a better idea of temperatures,” he said.
Grit is being stockpiled at Amey’s Olive Grove depot and the vehicles serviced to ensure they are ready to go.
■ People can find out more about Sheffield’s gritting plans at an information event in Barker’s Pool on Wednesday from 10am to 2pm.
Visitors can speak to managers and find out how to prepare vehicles for winter.