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National Highways warns drivers to 'give gritters time and space' as snow and ice arrive in Herts and Essex

Snow and ice are forecast in Herts and Essex this week and motorists are being reminded to give gritting vehicles time and space.

The message from National Highways follows a survey which showed 36% of drivers did not know how many blind spots an HGV has.

National Highways manages 4,500 miles of motorways and A-roads – including the M11 and A120 in the Bishop's Stortford area – and can call upon around 530 gritters in extreme weather conditions.

Ready to roll (62803927)
Ready to roll (62803927)

Darren Clark, severe weather resilience manager at National Highways, said: “As our gritting teams go out to spread salt on the roads, our message is simple to all road users – please be patient and give us the time and space to do what we need to do to keep you safe.

“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.

“It’s worth remembering too we are not gritting all the time. Some of our fleet may come off at particular junctions or return to depots while other vehicles take over, lowering any inconvenience to motorists.

"We are once again totally committed to working around the clock on these seasonal operations to keep all road users safe and thank everyone in advance for their patience and understanding.”

Mr Clark added: “Not all roads will need treating on any given day. Gritters may need to go out in some regions if road temperatures are expected to fall below 1C and if there is a risk of ice forming, but not in other areas if conditions are not as cold.

“National Highways is committed to treating every road which needs to be treated – whenever it is needed. We are armed with the latest technology, forecasting intelligence and years of experience to help us make informed decisions about where and when we need to spread salt to help keep road users safe in even the most adverse weather conditions.”

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