Calderdale Council’s gritters will be salting all primary and secondary routes tonight as temperatures are set to plunge.
Following heavy rain on Wednesday, the district’s roads are still saturated with water that could ice up and drivers are asked to take care.
Moving towards the weekend, temperatures are set not to rise above 5 degrees centigrade on Friday, November 24, and all the district faces the propect of overnight snow, potentially heavier in the upper Calder Valley, overnight on Friday and into Saturday morning.
Snow showers are likely to turn to rain as afternoon progresses towards evening, but temperatures remain low on Sunday when there will be some sunshine but also the prospect of some light rain, forecasters say.
This week the council outlined that it is prepared for winter but is pioneering a new priority policy for salting.
The Council has 18,200 tonnes of salt stored for winter and grits 575km of roads across Calderdale, using a fleet of 15 gritters.
It is piloting a new policy this year to make sure gritting is carried out where it is needed most - the new approach is risk-based, meaning that every road is ranked to determine its priority for gritting.
This is to comply with the new national requirements of the Well-Managed Highway Infrastructure code of practice.
Priority is given to Calderdale’s busiest roads, main bus routes and roads which give access to hospitals, emergency services and community facilities such as schools and shopping centres.
The effectiveness of the new policy will be monitored carefully during the winter, with a report to the council’s Cabinet next spring.
Coun Barry Collins, Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Economic Development, said: “Every year our highways winter team works really hard to help keep people safe and moving when there is ice or snow.
“They will continue to be ready to work 24/7 if needed, with a well-developed plan in place for the coming months.
“We can’t grit all of Calderdale’s roads because of the time it would take and the cost involved.
“The new approach will ensure that gritting and snow clearing are done as effectively as possible with limited budgets.
“We’ve reviewed each and every road across the borough to assess which ones most need gritting, based on what they are used for and how much they’re used.”
More than 600 salt bins are available across Calderdale to assist road users on a self-help basis.
You can visit the winter service and gritting web page - www.calderdale.gov.uk/v2/residents/transport-and-streets/winter-service-gritting - for more information on how the council decides where and when to grit.
A council spokesperson added: “Always take extra care when driving in wintery conditions.”
For information on how to prepare for winter, log on to the council’s www.calderdale.gov.uk/v2/council/emergencies/preparing-emergencies/be-prepared-winter web page.