Council Leader hits the roads with gritting crews
Nottinghamshire County Council Leader, Councillor Kay Cutts MBE joined Via's gritter driver Paul Davis for the first part of his four-hour gritting run out from Gamston depot to the east of Nottingham last night (Thursday, 24 January).
Temperatures have been below seasonal norms this past week, with sustained periods of below zero temperatures which has required seven treatments of the county’s main routes within four days. Over the coming days it is expected that the weather will be slightly warmer, but then a further cold spell is expected from Sunday onwards.
Councillor Cutts was keen to see what a typical gritting run involved and used the opportunity to personally thank some of the gritter drivers for their hard work, both so far this year but particularly during the harsh conditions experienced last winter.
The Leader joined the route which covered parts of the Radcliffe-on-Trent division, which she represent, including Shelford Tops, Radcliffe-on-Trent, Holme Pierrepont, and Gamston.
She said: “I want to thank all of our gritting crews based across our four depots at Gamston, Bilsthorpe, Newark and Markham Moor for their continued hard work, unfailing team spirit, and their tenacity during last winter’s particularly trying weather conditions.
“And it was great to meet some of them in person last night as they prepared to head out on their various routes and then join Paul, one of our drivers, in his cab to experience first-hand what a gritting run involves.
“What struck me was the effort and planning that goes into ensuring our gritting operations run effectively during the winter season, and also the experience and enthusiasm that exists within the team of drivers’
Last night the council’s 23 crews were out spreading salt on all of our A and B main roads and bus routes and our gritting teams are also likely to be out in the evenings from Sunday, according to the five-day forecast.
Driver, Paul Davis, who has been gritting our 1,560 km of road network for over 30 years, added: “Councillor Cutts was interested to see how the process works and to hear about how we coped with last winter’s Beast from the East.
“Last year’s winter was one of the worst we have had for a number of years, and the snow that arrived in February was some of the most difficult conditions I have ever dealt with. But we are an experienced team and called on this to ensure the roads were as safe as possible.”
Every time the lorries go out, we grit an area the size of 100 large football pitches. And each gritting run can take over three hours - which means is that residents’ roads may be gritted sometime after the circuit starts.
Councillor Cutts added: “For more rural communities, the cold weather can be particularly challenging for people getting to work, school or generally out and about, “added the Leader.
“As well as salting roads, our gritting teams also make sure the 1,400-plus roadside grit bins across the county are full - these are for use by local communities on pavements and roads, but not private driveways.”