Essex Highways says it road maintenance teams are prepared for a harsh winter.

While it is too early for weather forecasts to reliably predict what sort of winter is coming, the county council says it is ready for a snowy winter similar to that of 2017/18.

Cllr Kevin Bentley, deputy leader of Essex County, said: “While, fortunately, my responsibilities don’t extend to forecasting the weather, I am able to assure everyone that we have invested in sufficient salt, salt barns and equipment to be in a very good position to keep our main routes and other key roads open in all but the most extreme potential weather this winter.

“However it’s not just the unpredictable weather we face this winter of course - our drivers are at similar risk of Covid infection as the general public, so we are carefully considering our health practices, driver and stand-by driver rotas as well as looking at contingency gritting plans.”

In preparation, roadside salt bins for use by residents have been re-filled with approximately 36 tonnes of salt.

Essex's gritters cover 2,000 miles of road and can grit all of it within three hours, using 57 gritters and 2 mini-gritters the county council has said.

Gritters went out an average of 55 times last winter across Essex, using 12,000 tonnes of salt, compared to a recent average winter of 58 times.

Epping Forest Guardian:

For more breaking news, local headlines and features, ‘like’ our Facebook page.

We also have a Twitter account: @EppingFGuardian

Follow us to keep up-to-date with news in Epping Forest.