• Editor

Thaw Enforcement and Blizzard of Oz ready to keep roads safe

Hampshire Highways’ salting vehicles are ready for winter, with eight of them set to be named by local school children following a competition run in collaboration with Hampshire County Council’s Junior Road Safety Officer (JRSO) programme.


Councillor Rob Humby, Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Economy, Transport and Environment at Hampshire County Council, said: “We’ve had a huge response to our call for winter gritter names — over 800 entries from junior and primary school children across Hampshire! It’s been a tough choice, but we’ve narrowed it down, and will be naming eight salting lorries this winter, with the winning schools offered a visit from the vehicle they’ve named.”


Making their debut on Hampshire’s roads this winter are:

Thaw Enforcement (named by Marchwood Junior School),

Snowbi-wan Kenobi (Westfields Junior School)

The Blizzard of Oz (Andover Primary School)

The Grittalo (Woodlea Primary)

The Grittindoor (Four Lanes Junior and St Peters Catholic Primary)

Grizzly Gritter (Whiteley Primary)

Grittersaurus (Cove Junior School)

Blizzard Wizard (Fair Oak Junior)

Gritters Got Talent (Bidbury Junior and Alverstoke Junior).


Where two schools submitted the same winning name, only one gritter will be named.


These join Spread Sheeran, Luke Snowalker, Mr Slippy, Gritly Come Dancing, Gritty Gritty Bang Bang, the Mad Gritter’s Tea Party, the Grittist Showman and Gritter Garbo, which were the first of the new winter fleet named, last winter.


The winter fleet is on 24-hour standby, seven days a week, from 1st October through until the end of April, to deal with wintry conditions. Highways teams use detailed Hampshire-specific weather forecasts and electronic roadside weather stations to make decisions about the best time to salt the roads.


Roads are treated with salt before temperatures drop to freezing to try to stop frost and ice forming.

Main roads are treated first. These ‘Priority one’ routes cover approximately one third of the county road network but carry the majority of Hampshire’s traffic, and include roads to hospitals and other key emergency hubs.


During periods of prolonged severe weather, Priority two’ routes, which include remaining B roads and single access roads to villages, may also be treated.


There are thousands of salt bins across Hampshire being filled for community use. Salt from these bins is for use on public roads and pavements. One tablespoon of salt is sufficient to treat one square metre.




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