Oxfordshire’s gritters travelled more than twice around the world, putting in some serious work over the winter months to keep roads safe for motorists.
The winter in 2016/17 was not one of the coldest in recent times however the total of over 53,300 miles covered was still much higher than the previous year when the total was nearly 40,000 miles.
Gritters are on standby from October 28 through to April in Oxfordshire.
The fleet of 28 gritters were sent out countywide on 45 occasions, including three times in the space of 12 hours on January 12 and 13 and on Boxing Day and other days over the Christmas break.
A total of 8880 tonnes of salt were used.
Paul Wilson, Oxfordshire County Council’s Highways Network Resilience Co-ordinator, said: “Although the winter of 2016/17 will be remembered in England more for February’s Storm Doris rather than colder weather we still had a number of cold nights that warranted the gritters being dispatched on to our roads.
“Travelling a distance of over twice around the world sounds a lot but actually it is well within the range of what we’d expect to cover during the Winter and is less surprising when you consider that one countywide gritting run in Oxfordshire is the equivalent distance of London to Iceland – approximately 1200 miles.”
“Although gritting helps keep the roads safe it is not a magic elixir that means the winter can be kept at bay for motorists.
“The other half of the equation is people driving to the conditions – which I think most people are sensible enough to do.”