Derbyshire County Council to invest £1.6m on new gritters

Derbyshire County Council is investing £1.6m to buy 15 new gritter lorries this year.

It is the first stage of a five-year replacement plan to replace ageing winter maintenance vehicles.

A further four gritter lorries will be purchased in 2014/15, three more in 2015/16 and a further three in 2016/17.

By 2017, the county council will have increased the number of gritters in its fleet from 39 currently to 44. Six other county council vehicles can be converted to support snow clearing efforts when needed.

Boasting the latest engine technology with low exhaust emissions, the new Mercedes Benz vehicles will be more energy efficient which means they will use less fuel.

They will form part of the county council’s regular fleet of gritters covering roads across the county.

By 2017, all vehicles in this fleet will be no more than five years old. Older vehicles up to 10 years old will be reserved for back-up to cover break-downs and to boost gritting and snow clearance efforts during exceptional snowfall.

Councillor Dean Collins, Derbyshire County Council’s cabinet member for jobs, economy and transport, said: “Some of the gritters in our fleet are reaching the end of their useful life.

“We’ve had a run of harsh winters over the past few years and we can’t afford to take any chances.

“If we face similar conditions again in future years we need to make sure we’re prepared. People rely on us to do a job and we need to be able to do it well.”