Getting ready for winter

One of Bucks County Council's gritters in action overnight
One of Bucks County Council's gritters in action overnight

How do you prepare for what experts are calling the worst winter in more than 50 years?

At Transport for Bucks they have 25 gritters and more than 10,000 tonnes of salt on standby ready to go.

Winter manager Calvin Richardson said: “By the end of the month we will have 
our full complement of salt in all of our salt barns across the county, totalling 10,400 tonnes.”

The salt consists of 1,900 tonnes in Aylesbury, 2,000 tonnes at Gawcott near Buckingham, 2,000 tonnes in Amersham, 2,500 tonnes in Handy Cross near High Wycombe and and 2,000 tonnes off site.

The salt is stored in purpose built salt barns and can last for three years.

A combination of freak conditions and changes in air pressure over the Arctic are set to contribute to the 
icy conditions.

The forecast shows snow is expected to start falling in December and continue until March.

Mr Richardson added: “We have 50 drivers plus eight decision-makers, 10 depot supervisors and one winter service manager.

“We have 25 precautionary salting routes throughout the county which covers 1,427km (44%) of the road network in Bucks.

“With such an extensive road network it would be unrealistic to attempt to treat all roads, so roads are prioritised based on several factors.”

The criteria for prioritising roads includes the 
importance of the route, the number of collisions on the route, how accessible the route is and whether it is practical for the gritters to get there.

Mr Richardson explained further: “Decisions to grit are made daily based on local forecasts and on road temperatures rather than air temperatures.

“Salting is likely to take place whenever road temperatures are forecast to fall below 1ºC and ice is expected to form.”

Bucks County Council cabinet member for transportation Mark Shaw said: “We will endeavour to keep the roads flowing and an overall safe and secure network during any inclement weather.”

For more details on school closures visit

For details of planned road closures visit”