Wigan Council is ready as winter weather returns – make sure you are too!

Wigan Council is ready as winter weather returns – make sure you are too!

Cllr Paul Prescott

Cllr Paul Prescott

By Cllr Paul Prescott

As the wintry weather returns, it is reassuring to know that our winter response team is always ready at Wigan Council.

The winter maintenance season begins for us in October and runs up to the end of March.

The teams are always busy, servicing gritting vehicles and snow ploughs and ensuring vehicles are fully prepared.

The salt barn at Makerfield Way depot is well stocked and there is around 4,000 tonnes of grit salt ready for use!

The borough’s weather forecasting system provides the team with daily forecasts, which are used to make decisions on gritting.

It would be practically impossible to grit the entire road network, so routes are chosen strategically to keep the most important ones open such as main roads, bus routes and access to emergency service locations.

However we still grit 431km of road on every gritting run which is further than driving from Wigan to Glasgow!

In addition to dealing with the ice, frost and snow, the teams will also respond to other severe weather events, in particular storms and where heavy rainfall and risk of local flooding are forecast. To support dealing with these types flooding, the team has two heavy duty pumps as well as 1,800 filled sandbags and a further 1,000 empty sandbags that can be used to protect critical infrastructure.

For the first time this year, we also have around 50 sensors placed in gullies across a number of known flood risk hot spots in the borough. This should allow us the team to better prepare and respond to any potential flooding situations. These were funded as part of the Department for Transport Challenge Fund.

What can residents do to prepare and stay safe?

We ask residents to most importantly, drive with care, especially during winter weather. Accelerating and braking more gently when in wet or icy conditions and braking before reaching a bend, will be crucial for resident safety.

If you’re out for a walk, wear sturdy shoes or boots with good grip and make sure you can be clearly seen by others. When it’s cold, wearing several layers will be more effective at keeping you warm than one big layer.

Residents may also not know that the council can supply grit bins on a priority basis to help those most affected by the icy conditions on the public highways in their area.

Please also make sure to check up on friends, relatives and neighbours who may be more vulnerable to cold weather. Lots of information is also available on our website around support during the cost of living crisis.

Posted on Friday 13th January 2023

© Wigan Council