Blessing for towns gritters ahead of winter season

The Beast will soon be treating Lincolnshire roads in the winter season.
The Beast will soon be treating Lincolnshire roads in the winter season.

A ceremony will take place in Horncastle tomorrow (Thursday) to bless gritters ahead of the winter season.

A blessing will take be held tomorrow (Thursday, November 16) at the gritting depot in Horncastle.

Horncastle is among five of the county’s eight gritter depots which will be blessed this week.

The annual ceremony plays a meaningful part in the county’s winter preparations, which include assessing salt stocks and test driving the gritters.

Blessings will be carried out with help from the Bishop of Grimbsy, the Rt Rev David Court.

Rev Court said: “The annual blessing of the gritting teams is an opportunity to thank them for for their hard work, heading out in all weathers and at all hours to make the roads as safe as possible for the public to use.

“Many people in Lincolnshire live in rural areas and rely on the roads being gritted to ensure they can still get to the shops, doctors, or even check on family and friends during cold weather.

“At the ceremony, we will bless the equipment and pray for the teams’ safety.”

Coun Richard Davies, Executive Member for Highways and Transport, said: “With winter just around the corner, our gritters are well-prepared, having been out on training runs and testing out routes that will treat nearly 2,000 miles of county roads.

“The Bishop’s blessing will see our teams through the colder months ahead.

“This year, we have a fleet of 43 gritters, including four of the biggest snow ploughs in the country, dubbed The Beast. Not only do they do a better job, but they’re cheaper to run too.

“We have 35,000 tons of salt ready for use, and will be using new technology to spread it more efficiently.

“But remember: even treated roads can be dangerous, so please take care and drive to the conditions.”

In 2015, gritters used 10,000 tonnes of salt during the winter, however during bad winters this has risen to 42,000 tonnes.

For more information about gritting in Lincolnshire, visit www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/winterweather