Highways England has announced a £16m government spend on 93 new gritters, to keep key transport networks open this winter. Minister for Roads, Buses and Places, Baroness Vere, has also written to councils urging them to stock adequate salt and grit levels.
The boost to the agency’s existing fleet of 535 vehicles will include 23 snow blowers capable of removing 2,500 tonnes of snow per hour.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, said, “This year, it is more important than ever that Britain is prepared for the winter as we continue to tackle the pandemic. Through this work, we’ll ensure key routes to Covid-19 test centres remain open in the coming months.”
The agency will also make a further £40m available for the replacement of winter vehicles, such as snowploughs.
Jim O’Sullivan, chief executive of Highways England, said, “Our winter fleet will be out treating our roads around the clock whenever ice or snow is forecast, but it is still important that drivers plan their journeys, make sure they are prepared for the winter weather and drive safely in all conditions.”