As temperatures start to plummet across the country, Brad Grit, Grittney Spears and their gritting entourage are ready to tackle the cold weather as it storms through Cambridgeshire.
North and eastern parts of the county were the first to have gritters marching through their area on Tuesday evening (30 October) when crews were called out to do the first gritting run of the season.
Last winter the gritting team, made up of 80 drivers and over 60 volunteers, went out 79 times to ensure county’s roads were well gritted.
Cambridgeshire County Council’s 37 vehicles are responsible for gritting 44 per cent of the road network across the county, and this year the gritting fleet came back from their summer break with a makeover - all the vehicles have been kitted out with 360-degree safety cameras to capture footage of when they are out and about on the roads. Previously these cameras were only installed on Cambridge city gritters.
Gritting routes are designed to take no more than 2.5hrs to complete. This year the cold season will see updates for three of the county’s gritting routes to include the new Ely Southern Bypass – which officially opened on Wednesday 31 October.
The council’s Highways department has a team of nine dedicated decision makers who monitor weather forecasts and check road surface temperatures using information from 12 weather stations to determine when and where the crews should be called out to do a gritting run.
Cambridgeshire County Council’s Chair of the Highways and Community Infrastructure Committee, Councillor Mathew Shuter said: “I would like to officially welcome back all our drivers, old and new, along with our village volunteers.
“Our gritter crews do a fantastic job in making sure the roads are kept gritted and safe during cold spells - and with the cold weather creeping in it won’t be long until they’re called out again on the county’s roads.
“We don’t know what type of weather the winter will bring this year, but our teams are all fully-equipped and geared up to fight any frosty beasts that sweep across our county.”