Gritters on standby as Essex Highways’ winter service begins
News / Tue 24th Oct 2023 at 09:38am
|THE gritters are ready, crews are on standby and the salt barns are full as Essex Highways launches its winter service this week.|
The crews driving the gritters have been familiarising themselves with the routes which will be gritted when temperatures drop.New gritters were also added to the fleet last winter, named by members of the public in a social media competition. The new vehicles include ‘Dermot Snow Cleary’, ‘Gritter Thunberg’ and ‘Jennifer’.
The routes the gritters use prioritise main roads, access to emergency facilities and busy bus routes, as well as sites where frost and ice have caused accidents.The 49 gritters, plus two mini gritters in the service, cover approximately 2,000 miles of roads across Essex. This is about 40% of the network.
Last winter, around 20,500 tonnes of salt were used on Essex’s roads, with the gritters out on the network approximately 70 times.
Councillor Tom Cunningham, Cabinet Member for Highways, Infrastructure and Sustainable Transport, said: “With British weather being so changeable, it is vital Essex Highways crews are ready and prepared for winter conditions to hit the county so residents can travel across it as safely as possible.”
The Essex Highways crews work hard to keep priority routes usable, but it’s vital residents also take precautions and make adjustments to how they drive in icy and snowy conditions to prevent the risk of accidents.
By working together, we can ensure the roads in Essex stay as safe and accident-free as possible.”
The drivers gritting the roads are the same as those carrying out road and pavement repairs across Essex.
When the weather is particularly wintry, gritting the roads and making them safe for people to travel becomes the priority, not least because it often means crews working overnight.
Town and Parish Councils can sign up to the Essex Highways salt partnership. This is a scheme where participating authorities receive a one-tonne bag of salt to help grit more local roads, pavements and facilities not covered by the main Essex Highways gritting service.
Salt bins are also available in local communities for use in public areas.
For more information about Essex Highways’ winter service, visit www.essexhighways.org/roads-and-pavements/winter-travel.
The website also includes how to track the gritters, maps of routes and information about driving in winter conditions.
no offence to the people who came up with the names but you have ‘Dermot Snow Cleary’, ‘Gritter Thunberg’ and... ‘Jennifer’. Jennifer, really? not even Jennifer Love HueGritt...