Gritney Spears to hit the road in Harlow

Communities / Tue 4th Oct 2016 pm31 01:09pm

GRITNEY Spears, Alexander the Grit and the Big G will be seen riding around the county over the coming months as gritters make early preparations for winter.

Schools from across the county helped name a number of Essex County Council’s gritters earlier this year as part of a countywide competition.

Other winning names from Essex school pupils included: Grit Monster, Ice Buster, Mrs Good Grit, Levi, Rory, Gustav and Ice Exterminator.

This autumn the newly-named machines rolled out around Essex on “dry runs” to rehearse the main salt-spreading routes.

Essex County Council has fully stocked up on salt in all its depots, drawn up rotas for drivers and tested all its gritting lorries. County-owned local salt bins have also been topped up.

Cllr Eddie Johnson, Essex County Council Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, said: “School children did a great job of naming our gritters last winter and I am sure they will be excited to see them out on Essex roads in the coming months.

“This autumn our gritter drivers will be out on the main roads to test the vehicles and the routes to make sure that they are ready to go the moment they are needed.

“Last year we had quite a mild winter, but we are never complacent and have put in place robust measures to prepare for any challenging winter conditions.”

The Council currently has approximately 15,500 tonnes of salt in stock with top ups available at short notice. The average winter usually requires about 18-20,000 tonnes.

Winter officially begins for highways maintenance engineers on Monday, 24 October, starting with a “low-risk” period before moving up a gear into “high-risk” season in December.

The fleet of more than 60 vehicles, including eight brand new machines this year, can spread salt on about 2,000 miles of Essex highways on each run, including all the Council’s major routes. Around 200 tonnes of salt is used on each run, with each route on its salting network being treatable in a maximum of three hours.

Winter salting routes and salt bin locations can be viewed online at: http://www.essexhighways.org/Transport-and-Roads/Roads-and-Pavements/Winter-travel/Salting-routes.aspx.

For more information on all aspects of winter preparation at Essex County Council, please visit www.essex.gov.uk/winter.

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