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Wednesday, 13 December 2017

The Usual Street Gritting Suspects

Picking up on the street gritting stories in the Kilburn Times, I see a lot of complaints.  This tends to happen every time there is even a limited amount of snow, so I would have thought by now all councillors would know that gritting most of the roads in Brent is a Borough responsibility not a TfL one.  Indeed, in the past it has been a source of controversy  as Brent has not bought enough street grit in the past.  Monday's weather seem to me to be handled quite well, with more major roads done first.  It really is unrealistic for people to expect all 480km of Brent roads simply to be covered in street grit as soon as snow starts falling.

I have gone through some of the practical obstacles to winter readiness before.  I was interested to read that only 840 tons of rock salt is in store, which is lower than in the past.  Possibly more is on order, although rock salt tends to be mined all year round, so you can't generally just hold of it when the weather is bad.  It has to be ordered well in advance.  It is also possible that since I wrote that piece in 2011, technology has improved so that more efficient use of forecasting reduces the need for gritting.  These days weather forecasts can be so exact that the different ground surface temperatures (GST) of different parts of London can be tracked.

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