Get ready for winter, warns FTA

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It’s time for fleet operators to make sure they are prepared for winter weather, the Freight Transport Association has warned.

It said the decision about what an individual transport operator should do is related to the sort of operations being undertaken and while a few years ago there was a cry for all goods vehicles to have winter tyres, it is now recognised that operators should be allowed to make their own decisions. In certain conditions snow chains are appropriate and some operators who travel in areas where the weather can be very cold look to change to winter tyres as a matter of course.

Malcolm Bingham, head of road network management policy, said: “This year highway authorities are asking for drivers to be made aware when gritters are operating. The new method used by the national authorities is to spread salt in a brine solution, which is more accurate in its spread. It also preserves salt stocks, as they use less in the spread, and it does not blow away, which tends to happen in wintry conditions when dry salt is applied. If drivers are in the vicinity of a spreader they should back off and let it get on with its work – it will only be there for a relatively short time. To accurately spread they must travel at about 40mph and this sometimes means we need to slow down to let them get on with keeping the network open.”

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