Essex Highways, Safer, Greener, Healthier

About our winter service

The 2020/21 winter season for Essex Highways ended on 19 April 2021. Our winter service will resume on 18 October 2021. 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 2 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).

Winter

Budget £m  

Actual £m

2016/17

3.064

2.940

2017/18

3.111

3.406

2018/19

2.539

2.131

2019/20

2.535

2.170

2020/21

2.610

TBA