Monday 14 October marked the start of winter services for Transport for Buckinghamshire (TfB).
Two weeks earlier, on 5 October, TfB carried out its annual 'winter parade'.
Each year, the drivers from all four highways depots take their winter gritting fleet out of Aylesbury, Gawcott, Amersham and High Wycombe, on their usual gritting routes. This serves as refresher training for all 50 gritter drivers along with supervisors and staff who carry out the winter service.
This is in addition to winter maintenance training, delivered to all drivers during the summer.
All vehicles have been thoroughly serviced, and were inspected by the drivers to re-familiarise themselves with their machines. The gritters were then taken out on their routes so that any changes, such as route amendments, overhanging trees etc. was noted and the team were able to ensure that all equipment on the vehicles is working correctly.
Once the parade was complete, the gritters were parked back in the depots in their winter service positions on call and ready to start from 14 October 2019.
Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Transport, Mark Shaw, said: "I am sure that some people in Buckinghamshire will have been surprised to see the fleet of gritters out so early in the year when it was mild! However, I am filled with confidence that the TfB teams and winter gritting crews are ready to go when they are needed from now onwards".
Once the road service temperature is forecast to drop below +0.5°c and ice is expected to form for the first time this winter, the daily gritting decisions will be tweeted on Twitter - @tfbalerts and shared on the website www.buckscc.gov.uk/services/transport-and-roads/road-maintenance-and-repairs/winter-maintenance
Look out for five newly named gritters on the network this year including:
-Salt and Vinegar
-Sir Spreadmund Hilary
-Roald Plough and
-Obi Wan Kesnowbi.