With colder weather on the way, West Berkshire Council is ready to keep people on the move with its winter plan for key routes across the district.  From Monday 30 October the Council monitors the weather and will grit roads whenever road temperatures are forecast to fall below zero with a hoar frost.
Primary routes, which account for 40% of the district's almost 800 miles of road, will be gritted whenever a frost or ice is forecast. These routes include all A and B roads and some strategically important C roads, will be gritted when a frost or ice is forecast. Secondary routes, which make up 20% of the highway network, will be gritted once frosty or icy conditions have been experienced for an unbroken period of 72 hours or greater (i.e., sub-zero temperatures experienced through the period for 3 continuous days and nights)


In addition, there are currently 480 salt bins serving council offices and public buildings with daily access and the road network in general. Of these, 31 are owned and maintained by the council and 449 are owned and maintained by the Parish or Town Councils.
Councillor Jeanette Clifford, West Berkshire’s Executive Member for Highways and Transport said, “We’re ready to put our Winter Plan into action to ensure that our roads are as clear and safe for our residents as possible.
"While we treat key routes some roads will not be treated. Drivers should be prepared, allow more time for journeys during bad weather and take extra care when travelling."
Decisions about when to grit roads are triggered by cold and other weather alerts from the MeteoGroup and flood alerts from the Environment Agency. West Berkshire Council’s contractor, Volker Highways, have 1,500 tonnes of salt stockpiled at the Council’s Chieveley depot for the winter with plans in place to replenish this stock as required throughout the season.

However, should the need arise the Council have access to 1,000 tonnes of additional salt which is stored off site. When gritting does take place it is usually done either after the evening rush hour or before the morning rush hour in order to minimise disruption on the roads.
A snow clearance plan is also in place which aims to keep almost half (48.5%) of the highway network available when it snows with priority given to bus routes and access routes to schools and GP surgeries.
Information about routes which have been gritted is provided in real time on the council’s website once the winter weather plan is instigated.
You can read our Winter Service Plan – which includes maps of Primary and Secondary routes and find advice on staying safe this winter including while you travel.