Thermal mapping helps gritting team cope with the cold

Northumberland County Council's cutting-edge fleet of salt spreaders are back on the region's roads to combat wintry weather.

Wednesday, 8th November 2017, 9:18 am
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 12:27 am

Last year the authority bought seven new state-of-the-art gritters to increase its fleet. Costing more than £100,000 each, the hi-tech machines help ensure the county stays open for business, whatever the weather.

This year the process has become even more streamlined, thanks to technology developments over the past 12 months.

During last winter the council thermally mapped and updated all the current primary gritting routes. This was carried out using differing extremes of conditions. Over the summer the highly detailed information has been extracted and a completely new thermal map of the primary gritting routes has been produced.

This will help determine which routes will need to be treated and when, taking into account detailed weather forecasts and actual weather station data to further strengthen the accuracy of the decision making process.

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Coun Glen Sanderson, cabinet member for local services, said: “Thankfully we have access to some state-of-the-art equipment which is developing every year so we can establish exactly where needs gritting and at what level. This is particularly useful in Northumberland as the geography of our county presents unique challenges where it can be snowing over the tops but bright sunshine at the coast.”