GRITTING teams are using the latest technology to get a better picture of the county’s roads as the cold weather sets in.
The web-based programme gathers images and information on road temperatures and weather conditions and alerts the county council’s ‘winter decision makers’ to the roads most at risk from ice.
The technology allows the council to even send text alerts to residents.
The hi-tech system will also recommend treatment for any given road as temperatures start to fall in the county.
The council is also piloting a computer programme which recommends how a road should be best treated.
Staffordshire County Council’s highways chief Mike said the new technology helped them to make ‘more informed’ winter decisions.
He said: “While technology can never replace the detailed knowledge and experience of our highways team, it does play an invaluable role in a county as rural and as huge as Staffordshire.
“The new technology can alert us to an issue miles and miles away and allow the team to investigate further and make a more informed decision on where to send out the gritters and when.” Earlier this month, the council launched Operation Snowflake to mark the start of winter.
The operation saw crews being trained on how to use the latest technology and making sure its 55 gritters and 60 snow ploughs were in good shape.
Around 30,000 tonnes of salt is now in stock. About 20,000 tonnes is used in a typical winter.
Councillor Maryon added: “Our winter highways teams do an absolutely fantastic job getting out and about gritting our roads in all sorts of weather - sometimes in very precarious conditions.
“And while new technology gives us a fuller picture on the impact of ice and snow on the roads, it is the teams which respond day and night that really help keep the county on the move.”