Blessings have been bestowed on Lincolnshire’s gritters by the Bishop of Lincoln, as they take on the role of treating 2,000 miles of county roads.
Armed with 35,000 tons of salt ready to use, gritters have been part of a series of blessing ceremonies from each of the eight depots.
The Bishop of Lincoln, the Right Reverend Christopher Lowson, was today welcomed to the Sturton-by-Stow depot.
The annual ceremony plays a meaningful part in the county’s winter preparations, which include assessing salt stocks and test-driving the gritters before icy weather sets in.
This year the gritters have already been in action, treating the county’s roads during recent freezing weather.
The Bishop of Lincoln, Christopher Lowson, said: “The annual blessing of the gritting teams is an opportunity to thank them 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.”
County Councillor Richard Davies, Executive Member for Highways and Transport, said: “Our gritters have already been out keeping major roads clear during the winter. They are well prepared having been out on training runs, 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 treacherous, so please take care and drive to the conditions. Motorists can find out more by following @LincsCC_roads on Twitter for the latest.”