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Kent's gritters ready with new technology to keep county's roads clear this winter

By Sophie Bird

Gritters in Kent have completed a dry run of the routes and this year 23 lorries have new in-cab technology.

The 67 county gritting machines were out to make sure drivers and equipment were in full working order before they need to be used on the roads during the winter months.

Watch KMTV's report on the Kent gritter's preparation for winter

Already, Kent Highways has stocked 23,000 tonnes of salt to get the county though the icy mornings and bitter nights.

The salt pile is spread at six depots across Kent and 3,000 salt bins have also been filled in various places across the county for people to use to help them grit pavements and small roads.

The new lorry technology helps drivers to automate the vehicles spread rates of salt in specific areas, as well as ensuring only critical areas of the primary network are salted.

Carol Valentine Kent Highways manager, said: “We plan the winter based on what’s happened in the past, over a ten year average. So that is what we’ve planned for and what we’ve gotten all our resources for.” In addition to the vehicles being ready, more than 110 farmers are standing by to help plough through rural routes during extreme snow.

Kent County Council gritters
Kent County Council gritters

Parish councils are also supplied with one tonne bags of salt and sand to use in more rural areas.

Ms Valentine said: "That’s (the new technology) going to help our drivers do the routes more efficiently and to do some automatic salting."

With colder weather drawing in, here are some tips to prepare for the icy winter roads.

Drivers are advised to check their vehicle is ready for winter and plan ahead before travelling by checking traffic and weather news, even on sunny days.

To stay safe, motorists should also to check their tires for lower treads, as this can cause skidding, and ensure only to drive when it is essential during heavy snow.

Some KCC gritters now have new technology to make them more efficient
Some KCC gritters now have new technology to make them more efficient

Cllr Mike Whiting, head of transport at Kent County Council said: “As we say every year, gritting the roads doesn’t equate to snow and ice vanishing, so please drive with extra care.

“Whilst we’re confident we’re prepared, I’d urge everyone to make sure they’re ready for the winter months.”

Avoid getting stuck on Kent's roads by keeping up-to-date on all of the latest traffic and travel news here or by following our live blog.

For all the forecasts, warnings and weather related news, click here.

Read more: All the latest news from Kent

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