Meet the team keeping the Wakefield district’s roads moving this winter
This year, Wakefield Council will be introducing the men and women who will be working hard throughout the winter to keep the district’s roads safe and clear, and ensuring that essential services can stay open.
The first gritting run of the 2021/22 winter season took place during the early hours of Monday (22 November) as temperatures plunged.
This winter will see a team of 36 gritter drivers, work in rotas to provide a 24-hour service for residents, seven days a week.
Between them, the crew will drive 14 state-of-the-art gritters which are ready to disperse 4,700 tonnes of grit from the annual store to treat all A and B roads, steep main roads to villages, housing or industrial estates and roads leading to main hospitals and large schools.
The roads the team grits are used by more than 90 per cent of all the traffic in the district. On average, people are never more than 400 metres away from a treated route.
There are 340 grit bins across the district, and these will be restocked over the winter, as needed.
Coun Matthew Morley, Cabinet Member for Planning and Highways at Wakefield Council, said: “Once again our crew of dedicated gritter drivers are ready to keep our roads safe and open as temperatures begin to drop – usually when most people are fast asleep.
“The out of hours gritting team come from right across the council. We’ve got people from finance, transport services, engineers, and procurement officers, as well as from highways.
"Some of them have seen some really severe winter conditions over the years and have missed family celebrations and other important anniversaries to help keep the roads clear and moving. The majority of the time they are working in the early hours of the morning or late at night, so they often go unseen.
“They really are a great bunch of people and I hope residents will get to know them a bit more this winter by following us on Twitter and Facebook, where we’ll be introducing them throughout the season. “
Residents are also being asked to volunteer as Snow Wardens, to help keep pavements and areas around their homes clear of snow and ice.
Snow Wardens join forces to help their neighbours and more vulnerable citizens who can’t help themselves by clearing pavements, drives and local streets whilst the council focuses on its priority routes.
Coun Morley said: “We have a fantastic team of Snow Wardens in place across the district who do an excellent job in supporting their local communities, helping their neighbours and vulnerable residents, and their combined efforts make a great contribution to the whole of our district. If you are able to come and join our army of Snow Wardens, please get in touch.”
Snow wardens are provided with grit, gloves, and high vis jacket.
To sign up to become a Snow Warden call 0345 8 506 506 or go to www.wakefield.gov.uk/winter