Wakefield Council 'grit team' ready to keep the area moving this winter
The team of men and women from across the council will be providing a 24-hour service – seven days a week.
Between them, the crew will drive 14 state-of-the-art gritters to cover more than 555km of main roads which are used by more than 90 per cent of all the traffic in the district. This is classed as a precautionary grit run and is made up of 12 routes.
Coun Matthew Morley, cabinet member for planning and highways at Wakefield Council, said: “Once again our team of dedicated gritter drivers are ready to keep our roads safe and open as winter starts to bite.
“Our gritting team come from right across the council. We’ve got people from emergency planning, transport services, street scene, engineers, and procurement officers, as well as from highways.
"Some of them have seen some really severe winter conditions over the years and have missed family celebrations and other important anniversaries to help keep the roads clear and moving.
"The majority of the time they are working in the early hours of the morning or late at night, so they often go unseen.
“We’ve got some great characters in the grit team, but the one thing they all have in common is their commitment to turn out, night or day, in freezing and snowy conditions to try and keep us all moving on the roads.
"So, if you see them out and about this winter, give them a wave.”
The grit team’s priorities are all A and B roads and steep main roads to villages, housing or industrial estates, main hospitals and large schools.
They will be working with the emergency services to keep them moving as well as restocking the 380 grit bins across the district. In severe weather, they will be helping out on minor estate roads, making sure that bin collections can keep running.
Residents are also being asked to volunteer as snow wardens, to help keep pavements and areas around their homes clear of snow and ice.
Snow wardens join forces to help their neighbours and more vulnerable citizens who can’t help themselves by clearing pavements, drives and local streets while the council focuses on its priority routes.
Coun Morley added: “We have a fantastic team of snow wardens in place across the district who do an excellent job in supporting their local communities, helping their neighbours and vulnerable residents, and their combined efforts make a great contribution to the whole of our district.
"If you are able to come and join our army of snow wardens, please get in touch.”
Snow wardens are provided with grit, gloves and high vis jackets. To sign up to become a snow warden, call 0345 8506506 or go to www.wakefield.gov.uk/winter
Residents can keep up to date on the grit team, and when they are out and about, on the council’s Facebook page.