Central Bedfordshire Council has finished work on a new £4.3million highways depot facility at Beamish Close in Sandy for its gritter vehicles, ahead of the winter season.
This is the second depot the council has opened this year: in January the council moved into its new £21m facility at Thorn Turn near Houghton Regis in the west of the region.
These two new facilities mean the council has a depot strategically located on either side of its region, and ensures that the council is ready for winter. The Thorn Turn depot includes a 5,000-tonne salt storage facility, but the new Sandy depot will make use of the adjacent Highways England salt storage.
Speaking at the opening ceremony held on Wednesday, Councillor Ian Dalgarno, Executive Member for Community Services, said: “This Sandy depot will provide a key role for us in the east of our region, especially being so close to the A1 road. If last winter is anything to go by, then both the new Thorn Turn site in the west and this latest one at Sandy are sure to be kept busy: during the big chill we completed 98 gritting runs. That adds up to more than 44,100 miles covered, and a lot more than the previous year.
“By having bunkered fuel on site, all our vehicles will be ready and available when needed, especially in case of an emergency. So, we will be able to continue to provide our essential services to the public across the region, whatever this winter throws at us.”
The depots allow for fleet vehicles and gritters to be kept securely close to the areas where they’ll be operating. Having all the vehicles in one place at the start and end of the day brings efficiencies by enabling minor maintenance and safety checks to be undertaken, and ensures that the vehicles are ready for the road.