The Grit Parade - Buckinghamshire's gritters take to the streets in preparation for winter
Buckinghamshire residents may have been surprised this weekend to see gritters on the roads of the county – even though there’s no snow forecast.
On Saturday (16 October), Transport for Buckinghamshire (TfB) set out on its annual ‘winter parade’ to check gritting routes and make sure the vehicles are ready for winter.
There was no Santa or reindeer, but the TfB winter parade still has a very important job.
Every year, the gritters are taken for a ‘test drive’ of their usual gritting routes, to help the 50 gritter drivers – who are on call 24/7 from October until March – re-familiarise themselves with the machines and the routes, as well as providing an opportunity to test the safety of the routes. If the drivers come across a hazard, such as an overhanging tree branch, this can be noted and action taken.
The ‘winter parade’ is when Transport for Buckinghamshire fully services the 50 gritting machines to make sure they’re ready to be used for winter service for the next six months. Once the parade is over, they park up at their depots and wait for the first salting of the season.
Cabinet Member for Transport, Steven Broadbent, said:
“It will soon be time for our gritters to get back on the roads. I’m sure the public will be very excited to spot the likes of Usain Salt and Snow Farah out and about, and I urge you all to give the drivers a wave if you see them.
“I am very proud that we salt 44% of Buckinghamshire’s roads, a significant amount more than other local authorities. However, please remember that grit is not a failsafe, and just because a road has been gritted doesn’t mean it won’t still be icy. You should always drive to the conditions of the road.
“Thank you to our winter crews, who are now set to be on call 24 hours a day for the next six months, even over Christmas, to help keep our roads moving safely.”
For regular gritting updates, follow @buckscouncil on Twitter. Visit our winter maintenance page to find out more about how the council decides when to grit roads, the routes the gritters follow and how you can track where the gritting machines.