Bless you! 20th year of Lincolnshire gritters keeping county roads safe

A fleet of 47 gritters and 29,200 tonnes of salt are on standby and ready to keep roads in Lincolnshire safe this winter.

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

Sturton by Stow was host to the annual blessing of gritters, salt and crew ahead of the winter weather arriving in the county.

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 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.”

Cllr 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.

"And whilst 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.”

For more information about gritting in Lincolnshire visit www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/faults-maintenance/view-gritting-routes.