Devon ploughing ahead with winter preparations

10:08 06 November 2012

Archant

12 new tractors made available after invest of almost £1million.

Devon County Council is ploughing ahead with its winter weather preparations this year and have been helped by an investment of £1million.

The county council and South West Highways are making sure they are fully equipped to keep Devon moving during any severe weather.

An investment of almost £1million by South West Highways has been used to purchase 12 new tractors which will be fitted with the special snow ploughs to help keep the roads clear of snow during the winter months.

For the rest of the year the tractors will be used for other general road maintenance services, such as grass cutting, around the region’s roads.

Devon Highways’ fleet of 74 gritters are also on standby to grit primary and secondary salting routes which cover more than 2,000 miles.

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council cabinet member for highways and transportation, said:“Working in partnership with our contractors and communities is the key to keeping Devon moving in the event of severe weather.

“These tractors, purchased by South West Highways, are a welcome addition and mean we are able to increase our severe weather response capability in snow clearance without increasing costs as the tractors are used by South West Highways for other maintenance work throughout the year.

“Salt levels are fully stocked and our fleet of gritters are on standby should they be needed, so we are as prepared as we can be.

“With a highway network of 8,000 miles, which is bigger than any other local authority in the country, it is impossible to treat all of our road so we are also working closely with town and parishes to enlist the help of volunteers as part of our snow warden scheme to provide an additional level of resilience during severe winter weather at a very local level which otherwise would be impossible to achieve.

“So far the response has been extremely positively and we now have a network of 265 snow warden volunteers across the county, which is excellent as they provide an important link to the County Council and they really can make the difference during prolonged severe weather by co-ordinating their efforts where they feel it is needed most.”

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