National Highways says drivers must give gritting teams ‘time and space’ as colder weather sweeps in
Drivers are being urged to give gritters time and space to salt the roads as temperatures across England plummet.
Five gritters, says National Highways, were struck by other vehicles when spreading salt last winter - compared to just one incident the year before.
With snow and ice forecast across the country, highways officials are preparing for a busy week ahead and the organisation is asking drivers who come across gritters treating the roads to remain patient.
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.”
National Highways has 443 state-of-the-art Volvo gritting vehicles and a total pool of 530 gritters that can treat motorways and A-roads during sub-zero temperatures. This equates to one gritter for every eight miles of road the organisation is responsible for.
Mr Clark added: "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.”
An amber Cold Health Alert is in place for all regions of England until Friday.
The Met Office says an Arctic airmass is going to draw in freezing temperatures - together with the risk of ice and snow - for many areas.
Dr Agostinho Sousa, Head of Extreme Events and Health Protection at UKHSA, added: “The temperatures we will see leading into the week ahead can rapidly have a serious impact on the health of those over the age of 65 and those with pre-existing health conditions as it increases the risk of heart attacks, strokes and chest infections.
“It is therefore vital to check in on friends, family and neighbours to ensure they are well prepared for the cold weather.”