Wakefield has 'full rota' of gritter drivers, amid reports of national shortage this winter

Wakefield Council says it has a "full rota" of gritter drivers ready to treat icy roads this winter.

By David Spereall
Wednesday, 13th October 2021, 12:53 pm

It follows reports of a nationwide shortage of staff trained to do the job.

The Local Government Association (LGA) said on Monday that authorities were struggling to compete with the high salaries being offered to drivers in the private sector.

But in Wakefield, the council has suggested it is "business as usual".

The council says it's well prepared for any icy or snowy weather this winter. Picture courtesy of Colin Williams.

Around 4,700 tonnes of salt are used every winter to grit A and B roads across the district.

The local authority's Cabinet member for highways, Matthew Morley said: "We have a full rota of trained gritter drivers, most of whom are council employees working in other roles who can move to these duties when needed, who are supported by a small number of contractors.

"We have training in place to ensure we have long term continuity for the service – for us this is our business as usual."

Councillor Matthew Morley said it was "business as usual".

The Met Office has forecasted a period of "unsettled" conditions from next week, though it is yet to predict any snow or excessively cold weather for the winter ahead.

Councillor Morley added: "The men and women behind the gritters work tirelessly during a cold winter season, out and about during the night and early hours of the morning when most people are fast asleep at home.

"Their priority is to keep the main roads moving and ensure that essential services stay open."

Local Democracy Reporting Service