15 September 2015

As Northamptonshire County Council makes preparations to deal with wintry weather over the coming months – the authority is giving people the chance to name 10 of its 26 gritting lorries, with winning entries painted on to the trucks.

The competition runs from today until 29 September and is open to schools, classes or individuals. The winning entries will have the name painted onto the gritter.

In Northamptonshire, a total of 1,198 miles of road receives precautionary gritting – the same distance as between London and Rome. This service is carried out by Northamptonshire Highways.

Cllr Michael Clarke, county council cabinet member for transport, highways and environment, said: “Keeping the county moving over the winter months is a huge task and the positive comments that we have received from our residents show that we are improving our service each year.

“There’s never any telling just what sort of winter we’re going to get – we just have to be ready to tackle what nature throws at us.

“The gritting team do a tremendous job keeping the county moving during the winter, with 24 hour monitoring between the months of October and April.”

Entries should be emailed to rmiller@kierwsp.co.uk or tweet @NNhighways and include:

  • A suggested name of the gritter
  • Applicant’s name
  • Applicant’s contact details

About the gritting service

The weather during the period from October to April is monitored by Northamptonshire Highways, and the county’s roads are salted, when required, subject to the weather conditions.

Weather forecasts are received from the Meteo Group and local knowledge of the network used to work out what the likelihood of frost or snow is.

If necessary, the situation will be monitored on an hour-by-hour basis before making decisions to send crews out to salt the roads. There are also seven weather stations so that road conditions can be monitored.

Northamptonshire Highways plan the service to ensure villages are linked to priority routes.

A total length of approximately 1,198 miles of road receives precautionary salting, just under half of the total network in the county.

Priority is given to those roads carrying the highest volume of traffic and where the risk of accidents is greatest.

In addition, certain local roads such as those serving industrial areas, shopping centres and some key roads in towns and rural areas are also salted.

In prolonged, adverse weather conditions - that is where the forecast conditions are unlikely to improve for at least 48 hours and the temperature is not expected to rise above freezing within that period - an additional 359 miles of roads will be treated, provided that roads on the precautionary salting network do not require treatment.

In the event of snowfall, roads will be cleared according to their priority status and need.

Gritting updates are available on Twitter at @NNhighways.