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About our winter service

About our winter service 

The 2019/20 winter season for Essex Highways ended on 19 April 2020. Our winter service will resume on 19 October 2020. During the season, we treat over 2000 miles of roads in Essex, which is about 40% of our road network. These are the most important routes to keep moving and all routes are treatable in a maximum of 3 hours. We operate 62 gritting lorries with ploughs plus two mini gritters with around 116 drivers who are deployed based on weather conditions. We use around 200 tonnes of salt on each run.

We use accurate weather forecasts, dedicated weather stations and roadside sensors to help us decide when to salt, and how much salt to spread. We aim to take action during early mornings and late evenings to minimise disruption to your journey.

We work with local district, borough, city, parish and town councils to provide the best possible winter service for our residents and highway users, as well as a network of local farmers who are on standby ready to plough roads if required.


How much does it cost to deliver the winter service?

The council budgets for an 'average winter' using data gathered over the past 50 years. 

The budgets for the last 5 years are set out below, against the actual winter spend, including all winter-related activities (incl. gritting).  


Budget £m  

Actual £m