HIGHWAYS bosses insist they are prepared for whatever winter has in store as experts predict the borough could be in for a repeat of the horror weather of 2010.
Long-range forecasts indicate the UK should prepare for a harsh winter similar to that of three years ago which saw record amounts of snowfall and prolonged spells of freezing temperatures.
Places across Worcestershire saw up to 20 centimetres of snow fall in places in the weeks before Christmas 2010 with costs to the county’s economy amounting to an estimated £15 million.
James Madden of Exacta Weather said: “We can expect another horror winter to develop this year with some huge snow amounts throughout the UK and parts of Ireland.
“There is also a very high possibility that we could experience a similar scenario to December 2010 or much worse at times, in particular during the January 2014 period.”
Gritters across the county were on standby from Tuesday (October 15) and will remain so until next April.
Depots are stocked with about 13,000 tonnes of salt ready to be spread on the 1,500 miles of designated roads across Worcestershire and over 1,200 grit bins are also being filled.
Gritters will once again be using a special brine solution on salt before it is placed on roads to help it stay on rather than bounce off.
A spokesman for Worcestershire County Council said the issue in 2010 was suppliers nationally were unable to cope with demand. Since then they had bought a lot more salt for the start of the gritting season so they were less reliant on replenishing stock. He added the council had never run out of grit during any season.
Coun John Smith OBE, responsible for highways on the council, said he was confident crews were well prepared.
“We all appreciate their efforts and, once again, I’m sure they’ll be very much up to the challenge of facing whatever the season has in store,” he said.
“As always it’s worth stressing that grit has never been, or never will be, a miracle fix. Even when roads have been treated it’s never safe to assume you can travel at normal speeds during adverse weather. The message is still the same – take care on the roads when temperatures drop.”
Visit www.worcestershire.gov.uk/gritting to see designated gritting routes across the county.