Road users across North Yorkshire in England will benefit from additional travel information transmitted from 10 new weather stations erected ahead of winter.
Installed by North Yorkshire Highways, the new stations will help increase the knowledge of decision makers regarding prevailing weather conditions over some of the highest and most exposed roads in the county.
These new sites will be equipped with solar-powered cameras that will have their images displayed on North Yorkshire county council’s website. This will also enable members of the public to see the road conditions before commencing their journeys.
Supplied by Vaisala, the weather stations will help the council to battle and advise on the harsh wintry conditions that affect the county’s vast uplands. North Yorkshire spends between £6m (US$8.2m) and £10m (US$13.6m) each year on winter gritting, depending on the severity of the weather with a fleet of 80 gritters to serve its 5,800 miles of road, along with over 100 farmer contractors.
Don Mackenzie, North Yorkshire’s executive member for highways, said, “This is a great step forward. This state-of-the-art equipment allows us to have invaluable, up-to-the-minute information about the state of our roads across some of our highest roads.
“North Yorkshire has some of the most challenging and remote routes in England in the winter as many of our roads pass over the high ground of the Yorkshire Dales as well as the North Yorks Moors and this can make travelling treacherous at times. Our winter gritting fleet works highly effectively throughout the winter, but despite our best efforts the weather can change dramatically for the worst in these remote routes and so accurate information about road conditions is essential to inform and keep the traveling public as safe as possible,” he said.
Erik Sucksdorff, sales director, UK and Ireland and West Europe ground transportation at Vaisala, added, “With the data and images provided by these weather stations we hope the public will be able to make more informed, safer, journey choices during the winter period. North Yorkshire county council has been a highly valued Vaisala customer and partner for over 30 years. Our collaboration includes thermal mapping, weather station supply, data management and maintenance services.”
“The council has recently undertaken a large program of weather station upgrades and renewals across the county and now has the widest network of RWS200 weather stations among all local authorities in the UK.”