British weather at the best of times is unpredictable, but one thing we can always expect is icy roads during the winter months. National Highways have introduced a revamped fleet of road gritters, with 120 state-of-the-art gritters being added as part of a two-year rollout plan across the UK with 132 more gritters due to be added for winter 2022-23.
The Acting Executive Director of Operations for Highways England, Duncan Smith, recently commented on the new fleet of gritters saying:
“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”.
Each of the new 120 vehicles will be fitted with the latest technology from the gritting industry, which include the ability to upload gritting routes directly to the vehicle, helping navigate drivers, which lanes to treat and drive-in, and includes more specific details such as upcoming bridges.
Further to the rollout of these new vehicles, National Highways also has 1,300 trained Drivers, most of whom will be LGV Class 2 trained and will have access to over 500 gritters, all of which have undergone summer servicing, ready for the cold and icy months ahead.
Advice for driving in severe weather from Highways England:
- In snow & ice, drivers should preferably stick to main roads and only drive if necessary. Additionally, drivers are advised to ensure they are carrying a snow kit in their vehicle.
- In high winds, drivers should slow down and avoid using exposed sections, this is particularly important for lorries, caravans, and motorbikes.
- In heavy rain, drivers should remain a safe distance away from the vehicle in front. Furthermore, if the steering becomes unresponsive, gradually ease off the accelerator.
- In fog, switch on fog lights and use lights on full beam. If you can’t see, consider finding a safe place to stop until it is safe to continue driving.
For more information on the topics discussed above, click the link below to visit the Gov.uk websites article.
Interested in training to become a Gritter driver? most Gritting vehicles on the road require an LGV Class 2 licence, 2 Start Ltd provide leading LGV Class 2 driver training courses for all confidence and ability levels of driver. book your LGV 2 course online with 2 Start Training!