Gritters are to move to new Sandy depot

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Work has started on a new £4.3 million council highways depot at Beamish Close in Sandy.

The new Sandy depot will be used by the Central Bedfordshire Council’s Highways Department, its Passenger Transport fleet and its contractor, Ringway Jacobs and Highways England. Savings will be made by the teams sharing facilities such as office space and maintenance bays.

The site is due to be finished later this year, and will be used for winter maintenance by the council’s gritting vehicles and vehicle storage. It will have a fuel store and an office building.

Speaking at the ground breaking ceremony held on Friday 4 May, Councillor Eugene Ghent, Executive Member for Assets and Housing Delivery, said: “This new depot will allow our fleet vehicles and gritters to be kept securely, yet close to the areas where they’ll be operating.

“Having all the vehicles in one place at the start and end of the day will also allow minor maintenance and safety checks to be undertaken and allow the staff to meet each day.

“By having bunkered fuel on site, the fuel costs will be reduced, and it will allow all vehicles to be available when needed, especially in an emergency”.

The council’s highways services previously operated from two sites, at London Road in Bedford and one at Brewers Hill in Dunstable. In 2016, the London Road depot reverted back to Bedford Borough Council, and it was felt that the Dunstable depot was not suitable as the sole site.

The council made a decision to provide two new highways depots, one in the south of the region at Thorn Turn, and the other in the north at Sandy. The Thorn Turn depot was recently completed and is now fully operational, including a salt storage facility.