Worcestershire County Council's gritting teams have signed off for another season after clocking up around 49,500 miles – the equivalent of travelling from County Hall, Worcester, to the South Pole five times.
The crews parked their vehicles for the final time last week, as happens each year, after being on stand-by ready to roll out since October.
Mother Nature was a little kinder to Worcestershire this year but temperatures still regularly dipped below freezing over the winter months and teams experienced their busiest time ever when snow hit the county on the weekend of February 4/5.
To ensure the county was ready for whatever the elements had to offer, 15,000 tonnes of salt was held in stock, the most the authority has had at the start of the season. Around 6,000 tonnes of that was used and what's left at highways depots can be saved and used during the 2012/13 season.
Weather conditions are constantly monitored to ensure all designated routes, which take in around 800 miles of road around the county during one run, are treated by 31 vehicles when necessary.
The work of the authority's Winter Maintenance teams doesn't stop when the weather picks up. Preparations have already kicked off to put everything in place for the next winter.
Cllr John Smith OBE, Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, said: "As ever, the gritting teams have done a fantastic job and I'd like to say thank-you to everyone involved on behalf of the people of Worcestershire. This winter hasn't been as harsh as the last few but we were still kept very busy when temperatures dipped – as is evident from the amount of miles clocked up.
"Crews usually do the bulk of their important work - keeping highways as safe as possible for us - whilst we're all safely tucked up in bed so it may go unnoticed but I'm sure everyone is immensely grateful. Work will now continue over the summer to make sure we're all ready to go again from October."
For more information about the county's gritting operations visit www.worcestershire.gov.uk/gritting.