WILTSHIRE’S gritters are all systems go as winter begins to tighten its grip on the county.

“We have a very dedicated team in highways who do an amazing job in difficult conditions, to ensure we are fully prepared for this coming winter,” said Wiltshire Council portfolio holder for highways Atiqul Hoque when he inspected the 24-strong fleet of vehicles.

"We can never predict how severe a winter will be, but the wealth of experience we have means we will be in the best position possible should bad weather hit the county."

The gritters have already been out ten times this season to ensure the roads are kept safe.

Since the end of last winter, the council has been servicing the trucks, amending and testing gritting routes and developing closer working arrangements with parishes and other agencies.

On average it can take up to 140 tonnes of salt to grit Wiltshire's A and B class roads and 230 tonnes to salt an extended network during prolonged cold weather.

The council says during severe weather local farmers also have an important role to play, with many clearing snow in their local areas when it is needed.