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Gritters ready to keep drivers safe this winter in Lincolnshire

The county council is gearing up to keep the Lincolnshire moving when the winter weather comes.

From today (October 1), Lincolnshire County Council start monitoring the weather 24/7, and their fleet of 43 gritters will be ready to go when road surface temperatures drop to around 0.5°C.

LCC's gritting routes cover nearly 2,000 miles of highway, including all A and B roads, at least one road into all our main towns and villages, and routes around bus and train stations, hospitals and schools.

They also provide grit bins for residents to use on public paths and roads.

Today also marks the start of the National Highways winter season, with patrols ready across the country.

National Highways announced 120 brand new gritting vehicles that will be rolled out nationwide this year, with a further 132 more to come for winter 2022/23.

Of the new 120 gritters, 47 will be deployed across Lincolnshire, Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, part of Warwickshire, Rutland and part of Oxfordshire.

Karen Cassar, assistant director for highways at Lincolnshire County Council, said: "We all know how changeable the great British weather can be. So whilst it's still relatively warm at the end of September, we're ready from October right through to April to go out at a moment's notice.

"We've got around 29,000 tonnes of salt in our stores, which should see the county through even a harsh winter.

"When the wintry weather does come, please remember that it's not magic dust we're spreading, and grit takes time to work on the roads. Always take your time and drive to the conditions.

"In the next few days we'll be doing our dry runs to test the routes and the vehicles, so you may well see the gritters out and about near you."

Duncan Smith, acting executive director of operations for National Highways, said: “The new vehicles are an impressive sight and this year’s roll out once again demonstrates our commitment to keeping drivers safe throughout the winter months.

“They include state of the art technology allowing us to treat the roads up to a maximum of 50mph, 10mph faster than earlier models. We want everyone to travel safely on our roads and ask that drivers take extra care near gritters, leave a safe distance, overtake gritters carefully when it is safe to do so and at a reduced speed.

“When the wintry weather arrives our winter teams across the country will be ready to work around the clock to keep traffic moving.”

When severe weather is forecast drivers should follow this advice:

  • In snow and ice, drivers should stick to the main roads where they can and only travel if necessary - drivers are also encouraged to make sure they have a snow kit in their vehicle, including an ice scraper and de-icer, warm clothes and blankets and sunglasses to cope with the low winter sun.
  • In high winds, there’s a particular risk to lorries, caravans and motorbikes, so drivers should slow down and avoid using exposed sections of road if possible.
  • In heavy rain, drivers should keep well back from the vehicle in front, gradually ease off the accelerator if the steering becomes unresponsive, and slow down if the rain and spray from vehicles makes it difficult to see and be seen.
  • In fog, drivers should switch on their fog lights and not use lights on full beam as the fog will reflect the light back. If you really cannot see, you should consider finding a safe place to stop until it is safe to continue.

For further information about gritting, including a map of treated routes and winter driving advice, visit www.lincolnshire.gov.uk.

If you'd like to join the team helping to keep Lincolnshire moving through the winter, you can find out more information about current vacancies on the Balfour Beatty website – visit https://www.balfourbeattycareers.com/job-detail?detail=uk19002-winter-maintenance-driver.

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