A team of eight drivers and eight gritting lorries are on standby should Swindon be hit by freezing temperatures over the coming months.

More than 500 tonnes of salt were delivered to Swindon Borough Council’s Waterside depot in Cheney Manor Industrial Estate during the summer, taking the road salt stockpile to over 1,300 tonnes.

The salt which has been put aside by the Council is enough to treat the town’s priority routes more than 50 times. Additional salt is on provisional order should Swindon experience snow or prolonged cold spells with further salt stocks easily available should they be needed.

Last year, the Council treated the priority routes 28 times using approximately 950 tonnes of salt.

The Council’s gritting team will be on alert 24 hours a day to grit the priority routes, which cover 208 miles of the borough’s 520-mile road network. They will also be on hand to plough the routes in the event of heavy snowfall.

The Council’s drivers have been out training over the past few weeks going over their routes and making sure they are as prepared as possible in the event of severe weather.

The Council has emergency planning procedures in place and staff in many service areas will also be placed on standby in the event of severe weather.

Councillor Maureen Penny, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Transport and the Environment, said: “Our gritting team have only just finished their winter training so are as prepared as they can be for any cold weather that might come our way in the months ahead.

“Last year, they did a tremendous job keeping our priority routes clear and we will need them again this winter should the weather take a turn for the worse.

“We have ordered plenty of road salt and have contingencies in place to order more should we need it, although our team’s good planning means we always have plenty in reserve. We also have plans in place to ensure we have staff ready to respond around the clock and keep our vulnerable residents safe in adverse weather.”

Further information on council services in an emergency or during adverse weather will be available on the Council’s social media accounts and through the Your Swindon newsletter available at www.swindon.gov.uk/newsletter