As we begin to enjoy the first signs of summer it’s easy to forget the cold, snowy and frosty days we are leaving behind and even easier to forget just how much it cost to make sure the roads stayed open and we were all able to get to and from work.
The cost of keeping the roads clear for local authority’s has been the subject of a recent BBC article but they didn’t mention the cost to Wrexham – we thought you might like to know what this was.
“Almost £1 million”
We started the winter period with a budget of £587,000 which was fully spent which meant we had to use the specific environment reserve of £300,000 as the conditions continued to stay cold and frosty. At the end of the winter period, which this year went from end of October through to March when the Beast from the East stole the headlines and made us all wrap up warm we had spent a further £62,000 which came from our general reserves. That’s almost £1 million but there’s no alternative to this type of spending when the conditions demand it.
It really was a very cold winter with over 10,000 tonnes of grit going down to pre-treat and treat the road network which kept it open and safe to use. this had been taking place since before Christmas, which is very unusual as there’s very rarely any gritting taking place before Christmas.
We won’t be idle through the summer neither. We’ll keep our fleet of gritters fully maintained and ready for action when needed next season. Grit levels will be kept at 10,000 tonnes and any new drivers will be trained and ready for action as soon as the summer is over which we hope won’t be for a few months yet!
“High quality service”
Cllr David A Bithell, Lead Member for the Environment and Transport, said: “It really was a very long, cold and frosty winter and like everyone else I am glad it is over. We have maintained a consistent winter maintenance budget even during times of austerity as it is essential that the roads are kept clear and more importantly safe to use. We never know what to expect during the winter but I am very pleased that the service we continue to offer remains of high quality and is relatively unaffected by the very challenging financial times we live in.”
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