CIVIC chiefs insist that Winchester is ready “for whatever winter throws at it”.

With the MET office recently warning of an impending freeze, county bosses have sought to reassure residents.

Cllr Sean Woodward, responsible for economy, transport and environment, said the council has 13,000 tonnes of salt and grit reserves at Barton Stacey and Micheldever, with a further 8,000 tonnes elsewhere in the county.

The council has 60 salting lorries on hand to keep roads ice-free - enough for 15 days continuous salting throughout the county and equal to about 75,000 miles of road.

“We’re ready for winter. We have enough salt and grit reserves to keep the roads clear for 15days and have the stock piles the government expects us to have.

“There are 3,500 roadside salt bins and these are all in the process of being “Last year of course was exceptional.” ‘Priority One’ routes – A roads, some B roads and major bus, emergency and school routes – will be routinely treated by council contractors Amey whenever temperatures drop below 0C.

Meanwhile ice detection systems have been set up to get a head start on the freeze.

Last year the council introduced new blue bins with a capacity of 750kg, much larger than the traditional yellow ones.

The salt and grit in the community bins is for use only in the community — on public paths, pavements and roads and not for private use on driveways or garden paths.

Last week Cllr Woodward urged people to be vigilant and play their part in keeping traffic moving, but said the council was confident disruption would be kept to a minimum.

“We consider we’re in good shape to deal with whatever the winter is throwing at us,” he said.