WITH late summer temperatures still in the upper teens Celsius, Cambridgeshire County Council says it is already fully ready for winter, with gritting teams geared up and ready to go.

"A fleet of 39 specialist gritters - six of them newly acquired for this season - and their team of around 100 highly trained drivers are ready to hit the road loaded with some of the 10,000 plus tonnes of salt which is stockpiled at depots around the county," a spokesman said this week.

"Gritting runs are triggered automatically by sophisticated weather monitoring equipment, which alerts highways chiefs when temperatures are expected to fall below freezing - on some occasions the fleet will carry out as many as three runs within a 24-hour period when weather conditions and temperatures are particularly bad."

Treatment runs cover a network of primary routes across Cambridgeshire designed to keep commuter and passenger transport traffic flowing, with secondary routes covered when resources allow.

Salt bins, which are kept stocked by the county council, are also available to local parishes, and the county council works in partnership with the district councils to try to ensure maximum treatment of winter-weather affected areas.

County council cabinet member for community infrastructure, Councillor Steve Criswell, said: "We have done everything we can within the resources available to us to ensure we are as prepared as possible for the winter weather - whenever it arrives.

"We have top quality equipment, full stocks of salt and a highly-trained and dedicated team of drivers and support staff who will do all they can to ensure that the community and business are kept on the move when bad weather hits.

"But I remind all road users and pedestrians that they also have a responsibility to take care and to keep traffic moving by taking account of the conditions and by avoiding any unnecessary accidents caused by inappropriate driving or speed."