Council chiefs give thanks to the army of road gritters who are driving in horrid conditions to make the roads safe for motorists.
Sam Booth, is a gritter driver for Via East Midlands, which is managing highways services on behalf of Nottinghamshire County Council, and works to keep the county’s road network safe during the winter describing the work he does as an emergency service
He said: “A challenging winter’s night for a gritter driver can be well below freezing, snow falling heavy on the ground, already a foot of snow falling in certain areas, certain roads especially hills can be treacherous. You have traffic which is building up, trying to get home, and you are trying to grit the road for them to make it safe.
“My little boy Owen, he likes to tell people I am a gritter driver and I tell him I am the fifth emergency service and I like to keep the roads safe for him to get to school.”
The county council stockpile 20,000 tonnes of salt at the start of the winter – well above Government recommendations and salt is distributed from four depots across the county – based at Markham Moor, Bilsthorpe, Newark and Gamston.
Councillor Kevin Greaves, committee chairman for Transport and Highways at Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “The work that our gritting teams do every winter season is fantastic and we pay tribute to their dedication, hard work and effort.
“In extreme weather the conditions can be horrendous, but they are still out on the roads trying to make things safer for our local communities, showing tremendous courage in challenging weather and it is great to hear Sam’s own story.”
Meanwhile, County Council chief executive Anthony May experienced what gritters get up to when he went out a team in Gamston.
He said: “One of the things I try to do is raise the profile of the many services we provide, which often fly under the radar.
“Scott’s job requires high degrees of skill and consideration of other road users, all of which he undertakes when you and I are enjoying our evenings at home, or are in bed. Scott and the other gritting crews which operate across Nottinghamshire do a fantastic job keeping our roads safe and I am grateful to them for all their dedication and hard work. It was a real eye opener and privilege to go out with Scott and it gave me a much better sense of what we do to maintain the roads over winter.”
The gritting teams were out yesterday and are out again today. The teams will continue to monitor the situation closely and look at weather forecasts throughout the weekend and into next week, gritting main routes as and when necessary.