WORCESTERSHIRE's gritting teams are officially on standby as the colder weather starts to creep in.

Over the summer months, the county council's Highways depots in Newlands, Stanford, Tenbury, Lydiate and Hinton have been re-stocked with more than 14,000 tonnes of salt, which includes a 5,000-tonne reserve in case of an unusually harsh winter.

The fleet of 32 gritting vehicles and their drivers are ready to cover Worcestershire's 1,000 miles of designated roads.

Last winter, the teams clocked up more than 50,000 miles across the county. That's the equivalent of more than twice around the world.

The council will also be checking the county's 1,320 grit bins to ensure they are full. The bins are available across Worcestershire and maintained with stocks of a salt/grit mixture.

They are provided for use on the public highway only, including footways.

Councillor Alan Amos, cabinet member with responsibility for Highways, said: "Our gritting teams do a fantastic job keeping Worcestershire moving throughout the winter months.

"They work in difficult conditions when it can be dark, icy and snowy. While most of us are asleep, they head out to help keep the county's roads open and safe.

"We encourage drivers not to take the work of the gritting teams for granted. Motorists should always drive safely and carefully, but especially in adverse weather conditions, even when roads have been treated."

Interactive maps which show designated gritting routes and information on nearby grit bins are available at worcestershire.gov.uk/gritting

Any issues regarding icy roads or grit bins can be reported online via worcestershire.gov.uk/reportit.