Gritney Spears, Brad Grit, and crew have welcomed ‘Scotty’s Little Salt Soldier’ into their gritting team, to help fight against any winter beasts that cross the county this season.
The gritter has been named after the local charity Scotty's Little Soldiers – which supports children across the UK who have lost a parent who served in the British Armed Forces.
The new winter Soldier will be going on its first mission around the county on Thursday 24 October, along with all the gritting crews around Cambridgeshire as they head out for their annual practice ‘dry run’.
Cambridgeshire County Council’s dedicated fleet of 37 gritters will be on the roads from 6pm all across the county, along with the quad bike twins who will be riding along the cycle routes. Although all the vehicles will be travelling slowly with warning lights flashing, no grit will be spread.
The trial dry runs carried out by the gritting teams are crucial to enable the drivers to re-familiarise themselves with the routes and learn any new road layouts, whilst also making sure the vehicles are running smoothly.
The salt domes and barns have already been filled with 10,000 tonnes of rock salt ready for the start of the cold season.
Last year, crews went out 36 times and many of them were up through the night or in the early hours of the morning, including on Boxing Day, to make sure roads were treated.
Cambridgeshire County Council’s Chair of the Highways and Infrastructure Committee, Councillor Mathew Shuter said: “Our gritting heroes do a fantastic job in all weather conditions and even leave their families in the middle of the night and sometimes on Christmas Day to make sure our roads are gritted.
“When winter arrives we want to make sure our crews are ready to go, as soon as our weather stations indicate it’s time to grit.
“These trial runs play a vital role in our preparation for the coming cold months, as they allow us to train new gritter drivers and remind our existing gritting heroes of the routes they’ll be keeping clear over the next six months.
“Don’t be surprised if you see them out and about – and if it’s safe to do so give them a wave."
MP for North East Cambridgeshire, Stephen Barclay, said: “Scotty’s Little Soldiers is an inspiring charity and I’m proud of the work they do in our local community, and around the country. I was pleased to help with a request to get a new gritter lorry named in Lee’s honour, and hope this initiative gives the charity a boost. I’ll be looking out for the new gritter and will be sure to give it a wave when I spot it on duty!”
If you’re interested in volunteering to help us grit Cambridgeshire during the winter months, visit our web page to find out how you and your community can get involved:
About Scotty's Little Soldiers
Founded by war widow Nikki Scott in 2010, Scotty’s Little Soldiers is a national charity, based in King’s Lynn, which supports children across the UK who have lost a parent who served in the British Armed Forces. The charity was set up in memory of Nikki’s husband and father to her two children, Corporal Lee Scott, following his death in Afghanistan in 2009.
Scotty’s does lots of things to support the children including sending them on holidays, posting them birthday and Christmas presents and remembering the anniversary of their parent’s death. The charity also provides personal development assistance for the children through educational grants and access to professional bereavement counselling, as well as arranging events where bereaved forces children from all over the country come together to have a great time and form friendships with kids in the same situation.
Find out more about Scotty’s Little Soldiers charity: