Winter’s on its way! Gritters get ready to clear roads of snow and ice

One of the new Highways England gritting lorries. PIcture: Highways England

One of the new Highways England gritting lorries. PIcture: Highways England - Credit: Highways England

Gritters are at the ready to clear Suffolk’s roads of snow and ice - as highways teams prepare for winter.

Highways England, which is responsible for the A14, A11 and A12 south of Ipswich in Suffolk, has taken delivery of new gritting lorries which can work faster than the previous vehicles. They can spread salt and grit at 50mph, rather than 40mph.

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The 93 new gritters will improve safety for drivers and workers due to the vehicles’ improved technology, set up and enhanced visibility.

Highways England’s winter fleet manager Jane Wilkins said: “The latest vehicles contain innovative technology which includes being able to pre-programme the gritters with information specific to each gritting route.

“This enables salt to be spread onto the road automatically, considering any specific requirements for bridges, landscape and other road features allowing drivers to give their full attention to driving at all times.

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“When the wintry weather does arrive, our 1,300 specially-trained gritter drivers will be ready to work around the clock to keep traffic moving.”

Suffolk County Council is responsible for other roads in the county – and most of its routes will be the same as in previous years, although there will have to be some minor changes in large towns because of changes to improve cycle routes over the last few months.

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Andrew Reid, Suffolk County Council cabinet member responsible for highways, said: “As we make our way into the colder months, our highways teams are busy at work preparing for the gritting season.

“Our gritting sheds are full of salt and gritter drivers are ready to take to the roads when temperatures drop.

“In the next couple of weeks, our drivers will be carrying out what we call ‘dry runs’, so that they can get used to the routes ahead of more wintry weather arriving – so please don’t be alarmed if you see a gritter out on the roads.

“To find out about our gritting activities throughout winter, please follow @Suff_Highways on Twitter.”

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