WE’RE ready for when snow and ice hit – that’s the message from West Sussex Highways which has a fleet of 22 gritters to call upon to help keep roads safe.

Contractor Balfour Beatty has stockpiled 10,500 tonnes of salt at county council depots in preparation for bad weather.

It has also held gritting “dry run” rehearsals, known as Operation Snowflake, to check staff and resources are ready for when winter bites.

During severe weather, priority is given to keeping major routes treated and passable and about 40 per cent, or 1,600 kilometres, of the West Sussex road network is treated in icy conditions.

The county council does not salt the A27, A23 or M23 which are Highways England’s responsibility but it does treat all other A and B roads and key routes for emergency vehicles, approaches to major hospitals, large schools, colleges and busy bus routes.