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Counties reduce gritting temperature to cut costs

With constant budget cuts, councils across the UK are changing their gritting temperature to help cut costs. 

Many councils across the UK struggle with the lack of resources available to them throughout the gritting season, meaning many are required to share salt, gritters and teams.

Several counties across the UK are reducing the temperature threshold to 0.5°C saving them time, money and gritting resources.

Last winter, Lancashire County Council changed their gritting temperature, meaning roads weren’t gritted unless the weather forecast suggested it would drop below 0.5°C. Previously, highways staff had to treat the roads if the temperature was expected to drop below 1°C. Changing their policy allowed reduced the number of treatments by 312, saving 1,100 tonnes of salt and £82,000.

However, the efficiency of this system can be questioned as 4.5% of forecasts suggested it would fall below freezing but didn’t, and 3% said it would remain above 0°C but fell below meaning roads had not been treated.

The main issue with this new system is the unreliability of weather forecasts. Councils instead should focus on the temperature of the road surface. Northamptonshire has also adopted this system this year; however, on November 29th there were 11 car accidents caused by roads that were not treated due to incorrect weather forecasts.

How Pinacl can help

Pinacl’s sensors monitor the temperature of the road surface, alerting gritters of those which are most likely to freeze and reducing the chances of accidents due to icy roads.

We can provide the hardware and the software requires to deploy a dense network of sensors which gather road temperature data. This data is then available to local authorities on Pinacl’s smart dashboard, allowing them to make data informed decisions.

Using a LoRaWAN network and the low-cost sensors, sensors can be deployed ensuring long range and maximum coverage. The sensors can be mounted on lampposts, which eliminates disruption and makes installation and maintenance relatively easy.

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