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County welcomes new salt spreaders

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A total of 43 new salt spreaders are set to hit the roads in the East Midlands.

The vehicles will be out on the county's motorways and major A-roads, testing the routes before winter descends.

Checks will be carried out on the vehicles and their equipment, while their drivers familiarise themselves with the routes in Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Rutland and Northamptonshire.

Snowploughs will be operational on the vehicles but they will not be spreading salt unless required to do so.

Teams will also check the communications equipment to ensure drivers are directed by accurate forecasting and can be contacted directly if they are required to change or re-salt a route if the weather gets worse.

Preparation is crucial for when the bad weather arrives but it is no alternative to having good car insurance.

Jane Wilkins, winter service manager for the Highways Agency in the East Midlands, said: "Our winter fleet is on standby from October 1 to begin treating road surfaces as soon as frost is forecast.

"Winter always brings with it the risk of severe weather and we need to be prepared.

"This full-scale winter exercise will help us test all the communications procedures and equipment to ensure that we are ready for when freezing conditions kick in.

"This exercise is part of our commitment to doing everything that can be done to keep major roads safe and free of ice and snow."

© Press Association 2009