City of Wolverhampton Council's gritting crews are on standby 24 hours a day, ready to swing into action whenever ice, frost or snow are forecast.

Type=image;ImageID=14083;ImageClass=left;ImageTitle=Cllr Steve Evans with 4,500 tonne rock salt 'mountain';TitleClass=strong;

Type=image;ImageID=14084;ImageClass=left;ImageTitle=Gritter drivers Paul Smith and Carl Rowntree;TitleClass=strong;

The city has a plentiful supply of 4,500 tonnes of rock salt in stock for the winter season. There is also a fleet of 9 gritting lorries and a team of drivers who each have a specific route to treat around the city should temperatures plummet.

City of Wolverhampton Council routinely treats 239 miles every time the gritters go out - that is more than 50% of all roads in the city. They are divided into priority 1 and 2 routes.

Each gritting run uses approximately 40 tonnes of salt and takes between 3 to 4 hours to complete.

Councillor Steve Evans, cabinet member for city environment, said: "Keeping people safe and the city moving is our priority and vast amounts of work behind the scenes takes place to make that happen.

"Our gritting crews are on standby 24 hours a day, 7 days a week - including over Christmas and New Year. That call out could come at any hour of the day or night and they have to be ready to respond immediately.

"There is also a dedicated team which constantly monitors the forecast - including data coming in from across the region and information specific to Wolverhampton - to be able to choose the optimal time to send the gritters out. It really is quite a scientific operation and there is a lot more involved than many people think."

Last winter, the gritters were called out in the city 47 times which meant they treated 11,233 miles of road (this is the equivalent of driving from Wolverhampton to Bolivia and back) and used 2059 tonnes of rock salt.

  • released: Friday 24 November, 2017