Cold snap could see Norfolk grit lorries out for first time this winter

Grit spreader in North Walsham.PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

Norfolk's gritters are ready to go out for the first time this winter. - Credit: Antony Kelly

Norfolk's gritting lorries could be set for their first run of this winter, as the county shivers in a cold snap.

After an autumn of above average temperatures up to now, the weekend saw the weather in the county take a chillier turn.

And forecasters at University of East Anglia-based Weatherquest said the cooler temperatures would bring frost and possibly ice to the county's roads - although they say snow is unlikely.

Adam Dury, Weatherquest forecaster, said: "The drastic change really happened at the weekend, when we had temperatures of 13C to 14C on Saturday and they had dropped to eight or nine degrees on Sunday.

"The next few days will be much the same - about eight or nine degrees inland and maybe touching 10C at the coast.

"There was a frost on Sunday night in Santon Downham and there's a likelihood of that again over the next few days."

Mr Dury said rain was more likely than snow, but there was a chance there could be some sleet on Thursday night.

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He said temperatures overnight then could fall to minus two or three degrees, so precipitation could lead to ice forming.

And that could be the signal for Norfolk's gritting lorries to go out on their first run of this winter.

A gritting truck is loaded with salt. Pic: Norfolk County Council.

A gritting truck is loaded with salt. Pic: Norfolk County Council. - Credit: Norfolk County Council

Grahame Bygrave, director of highways and waste at Norfolk County Council, said: "The council has been ready for the winter season since mid-October.

"We have a total of 15,000 tonnes of salt in our seven operational depots and 49 vehicles ready to treat the gritted network across the county.

"Following a relatively mild autumn we are expecting colder conditions towards the end of this week and continue to monitor the daily forecast to determine when the first gritting run of the season will take place."

The council's three-hour gritting runs cover a total of approximately 2,200 miles on A, B and some C class roads.

Some footpaths in the pedestrian areas of Norwich, King’s Lynn and Great Yarmouth are also treated.

Last month, council bosses scotched concerns that grit runs could be hit by a shortage of drivers.

Mr Bygrave said contractors Norse had retained the "vast majority" of in-house gritting crews.

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