South Gloucestershire Council is set to launch a fleet of nine, new gritters this week as part of a £1 million investment to keep roads safe and traffic moving across the district this winter.
With temperatures set to drop, the super-efficient gritters will be out on South Gloucestershire’s roads to treat the network from Friday 18 November.
The new fleet uses 20 per cent less salt than the older models by using technology which can be set to spread a more precise measurement to suit the road conditions. This makes them much more efficient and minimises their carbon footprint.
The council regularly grits around 30 per cent of South Gloucestershire’s road network when ice has been predicted. This involves treating main A and B roads, and routes to schools, care providers, fire, ambulance and police stations.
Vehicles, drivers and staff are on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week throughout the winter months, to keep schools open, businesses running and emergency services on the road. Winter arrangements begin in late October and run until 31 March each year, although this period can be extended depending on weather conditions.
Five thousand tonnes of salt is stored at the council depot at Broad Lane in Yate, so they are well-prepared for winter. The council also spreads salt manually on key town centre pedestrian areas and uses a small spreader mounted on a tractor to treat some of the busier sections of cycle routes.
The new gritters have been given superhero names by local school children as part of a competition held earlier this year. Winners were announced in the Spring and the names were selected by council officers from more than 100 entries.
• Mr Thaw – Scarlett, St John’s Mead School, Chipping Sodbury
• Super Salter – Daisy, Wheatfield School, Bradley Stoke
• Sir Grittalot – Isabelle, Wheatfield School, Bradley Stoke
• Sponge Bob Grit Pants – Cody, St Mary’s Primary School, Yate
• The Grittest Showman – Harry, St Mary’s Primary School, Yate
• Walter the Salting Machine – Lucas, Christ the King School, Thornbury
• The Salty Warrior – Ben, Christ the King School, Thornbury
• Guardian Gritter – Harry, Christ the King School, Thornbury
• Knight in Salty Armour – Year 6, Christ the King School, Thornbury.
Councillor Steve Reade, cabinet member responsible for transport at South Gloucestershire Council said: “Ensuring our roads are safe is a top priority for the council and we treat 510 kilometres of roads every night during periods of cold weather to keep people safe and traffic moving. We are delighted that these new, efficient gritters are ready for the winter months as they require much less salt in comparison with the old fleet. This means we can make our supplies go further this winter as well as delivering value for money services for our residents, so it really is about investing our resources wisely to be as efficient as possible.
“I’d like to thank all of the school children who entered the competition to name the gritters and congratulate the winners, there are some very imaginative titles! The new gritters are highly visible with their new reflective decals, so you may see ‘Mr Thaw’ or ‘Walter the Salting Machine’ out on our roads during the upcoming winter months.”
Further information on gritted routes and bin locations in South Gloucestershire can be found at www.southglos.gov.uk/gritting