Annual blessing of Lincolnshire gritters takes place for its 20th year

The annual blessing of gritters, salt and the crew ahead of the winter weather arriving in Lincolnshire is now in its 20th year.

Sturton by Stow was host to the salt spreaders ceremony ahead of incoming cold snap.

The Right Reverend Dr Nigel Peyton, Assistant Bishop of the diocese of Lincoln, bestowed the blessing for the 20th year that the ceremony has taken place.

Blessing the machines, crew and salt as part of the overall preparations for the winter season, the Assistant Bishop said: “It’s an honour to be carrying out the 20th anniversary blessing of the machinery, people and salt that is used to help keep the county’s roads safe.

The Right Reverend Dr Nigel Peyton, Assistant Bishop of the diocese of Lincoln, bestowed the blessing at the annual blessing of gritters, salt and crew

“The reason why we do this is, quite simply, to help people be aware of the upcoming weather and to remind them of how we need to keep ourselves safe, take care when driving and be courteous to others on the roads.

“I really appreciate the people who organise and maintain these machines, those who drive them and the whole team working behind the scenes too. The gritter drivers sometimes have to drive these lorries at very unsociable hours in order to keep us safe and that, especially in bad conditions, is a very skilled job to be able to do.

“We should all be grateful of the work these teams do. I think that, during the pandemic, we all learned to value people who we sometimes forgot about doing these sorts of jobs.

"These jobs that, perhaps, we don’t see very often.”

Coun Richard Davies, executive member for highways, said: "With 5,500 miles of roads running through our county, our gritter crews face a mammoth task every winter to keep road users as safe as possible.

"It’s far from easy to do what they do often at unsociable hours and in very difficult conditions.

“Our gritters are well-prepared and have been put through a shake-down test to ensure everything is working as it should.

"This year, we have a fleet of 47 gritters and 29,200 tonnes of salt ready for use.

"And while we’re ready to go, it’s very much worthwhile underlining that in very low temperatures, even treated roads can be dangerous.

"Please take care and drive to the conditions.”