Blessing of county’s gritters

The Beast will soon be treating Lincolnshire roads in the winter season EMN-161118-105407001
The Beast will soon be treating Lincolnshire roads in the winter season EMN-161118-105407001

Gritters in Lincolnshire have once again been given a blessing ahead of the winter season.

Bishops visited deports across the county to bestow blessings upon vehicles.

Coun Richard Davies, Lincolnshire County Council’s executive member for highways and transport, said: “This year we have a fleet of 43 gritters, including four of the biggest snow ploughs in the country, dubbed The Beast.”

The Beast was introduced in the summer to offer a new way of gritting Lincolnshire’s roads.

Rev David Newlove visited the Manby depot and Rev Charles Patrick and Rev Sue Wilkins visited Horncastle depot for a ceremony which plays a meaningful part in the county preparing for winter.

Rt Rev Christopher Lowson who visited Sturton by Stow depot said: “The annual blessing of the gritting teams is an opportunity to thank them for their hard work, heading out in all weathers and at all hours to make the roads as safe as possible for the public to use.”

Richard Fenwick from the winter maintenance team said: “They (the new gritters) are equipped with hefty ploughs which can spread salt more uniformly and clear snow more effectively than older models.

“They are also cheaper to lease and maintain, saving about £166,000 over 10 years, and are able to carry 10 cubic metres of salt and can travel further and stay out for longer than their smaller predecessor.”

Coun Davies added: “Not only do they do a better job, but they’re cheaper to run too.”

According to Lincolnshire County Council, gritters in Lincolnshire treat 1,869 miles of roads and 43 routes.

Mr Fenick said: “This winter we have 50,000 tonnes of salt ready for use, and will be using new technology to spread it more efficiently.”