New-look gritters ‘will improve safety’

14.39 | 13 November 2018 |

Highways England says its fleet of new-look gritters will improve safety for drivers and workers due to improved technology, ergonomics and enhanced visibility.

The new gritters, designed with help from the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL), will take to the road for the first time this winter.

Research carried out by TRL shows that vehicles stand out more if painted in one block colour and are solid in shape, which is where the new design has come from.

The new vehicles also contain technology which enables them to be pre-programmed with information specific to each gritting route.

This means salt can be spread onto the road automatically, taking into account any specific requirements for bridges, landscape and other road features, thereby allowing the driver to give their full attention to driving at all times.

Despite weighing 26 tonnes and measuring a maximum of 2.5 meters wide, Highways England says there have been a number of incidents where gritters have been struck by other vehicles in recent years.

Jane Wilkins, Highways England winter fleet manager, said: “Safety is our top priority and we are always looking at ways we can improve our winter resilience.

“Using the research carried out by TRL and our own data, we have looked carefully at the number of incidents involving gritters to see what more can be done to improve safety and the service we provide.

“The roll out of this £30m programme started this year with 34 new vehicles in East Anglia. The remainder of the 157 vehicles, will be replaced over the next two years.”



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