National Highways rolls out new gritters for the winter season

01/10/2021
Dominic Browne

More than 100 new gritting vehicles will be delivered to National Highways this year, helping keep traffic moving this winter.

The 120 gritters are part of a two year roll-out across the country with a further 132 more to come for winter 2022/23.

The vehicles meet the latest EU emission standards for heavy-duty CI (diesel) engines known as Euro 6 which are focused on reducing harmful exhaust emissions.

Regions receiving the new gritters this year are:

  • Kent, Surrey, West and East Sussex – 36 vehicles
  • Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire, part of Warwickshire, Rutland and part of Oxfordshire – 47 vehicles
  • Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and parts of Suffolk and Cambridgeshire – 28 vehicles
  • West Midlands, Shropshire, Worcestershire, Herefordshire, Warwickshire, Staffordshire and part of North Gloucestershire – 7 vehicles
  • Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, Avon, Wiltshire and Gloucestershire – 2 vehicles

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.'

National Highways winter service stats

  • Over the last four years National Highways has replaced 311 gritters in its fleet. Phase one of the roll out started in 2018 with 34 new vehicles delivered in the east of England
  • In 2019, 64 were put into operation in the North East and South East and last year 93 were delivered to the North West and South West.
  • National Highways has 1,300 specially trained gritter drivers and 535 gritters available which have all gone through a summer service.
  • There are 127 depots based at strategic points across the network, 23 snow blowers that can remove up to 2,500 tonnes of snow per hour and National Highways will be storing over 280,000 tonnes of salt.
  • To monitor the weather around the clock National Highways has around 250 weather stations located across its 4,400 miles of motorways and major A roads. 

Highways magazine's winter service conference Cold Comfort 2022 will take place at Harrogate Convention Centre on 25-26 May 2022. Click here to visit the website and find out more.

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