Give gritters space in Sussex, says National Highways, as freezing weather hits county

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National Highways said five of its gritters were struck by other vehicles while they were out and about spreading salt during the winter last year.

They said that the vehicles were left with ‘visible damage’ and are now urging motorists in Sussex and beyond to give gritters ‘time and space’ to do their jobs this year.

National Highways said they are continuing to treat roads this winter as temperatures plummet.

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Darren Clark, severe weather resilience manager at National Highways, said: “It is quite shocking that five of our gritter vehicles were struck while in the course of their duties last winter season. With the current winter conditions it is a timely reminder for drivers to give our vehicles the time and space they need to do their jobs to keep everyone safe. We also encourage everyone to follow our TRIP messaging so they are fully prepared for their journeys.”

National Highways said five of its gritters were struck by other vehicles last yearNational Highways said five of its gritters were struck by other vehicles last year
National Highways said five of its gritters were struck by other vehicles last year

National Highways advised motorists to keep TRIP in mind: top-up (oil, water, screenwash) rest every two hours, inspect tyres and lights, and prepare (check your route and the weather forecast).

National Highways said it has 443 Romaquip-Volvo gritting vehicles and a total pool of around 530 gritting vehicles, which can be out on roads in sub-zero temperatures.

Mr Clark said: "If you are going to pass us, please do so courteously, pass us safely and legally, or even better, if you are able to stay back, you will actually help the salt on the road activate even more quickly by crushing and breaking it into the road surface which benefits everyone. It’s worth remembering too, we are not gritting all the time. Some of our fleet may come off at particular junctions or return to depots while other vehicles take over, lowering any inconvenience to motorists. We are once again totally committed to working around the clock on these seasonal operations to keep all road users safe and thank everyone in advance for their patience and understanding.”