What is next for Nottinghamshire’s winter gritting teams as summer approaches

As summer is fast approaching Nottinghamshire’s gritting teams will shortly be preparing to move into other seasonal roles.

By Shelley Marriott
Tuesday, 3rd May 2022, 2:56 pm

Every winter, the team of 30 drivers from Via East Midlands go onto part-time standby on October 1, and then full-time, 24-hour, standby on November 1, until April.

And with the warmer weather comes a new set of duties for the winter teams who will now move into other seasonal roles including grass cutting, strimming, verge and hedge maintenance and weed control.

Frank Fearn, seasonal operations coordinator for Via East Midlands, said: “This winter may not have been one of the coldest and harshest that Nottinghamshire has ever seen, but conditions were still hazardous enough to ensure that gritting teams went out on a significant number of runs.

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Nottinghamshire's gritting teams are moving into other seasonal roles

“The role of a gritter driver is like no other in that they could be sent out at any hour of the day or night, sometimes even multiple times in a day or evening.

“Their role is all dependent on the weather, and this year the busiest period was between January 11 and 25, where the team completed 15 consecutive nights of gritting runs.

“I speak on behalf of the seasonal operations team when I say that we are proud to keep Nottinghamshire safe in all conditions.”

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Coun Neil Clarke MBE, chairman of the Transport and Environment Committee at Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “Our winter teams have once again done a brilliant job of keeping communities across Nottinghamshire safe during the colder weather.

“Their role should never be underestimated as they mainly work during the hours when the rest of us are tucked up at home in the warm with our families.

“So, as the weather turns warmer, we won’t now see our gritting teams again until October or November, but when you’re out and about in your community and see a council vehicle out maintaining verges or cutting grass, keep in mind this will likely be operated by one of our winter heroes who I am sure you will join me in thanking for all of their efforts this winter.”