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Source: Scotland – City of Aberdeen

The city’s 10 main road gritters were today given names for the first time – ranging from The Gritest Showman to Snow Worries.

The gritters were awarded the names from city primary schools with witty film and sporting references proving to be a popular choice.

The names chosen for the 10 main road gritters are The Gritest Showman, Granite Gritter, Gritz’ n’ Blitz, Sandy Spitter the Big Gritter, Snowdog, Grit-mas, Spreadie Eddie, Snow Worries, Glitter Gritter, and The Grittalo.

The schools the names came from are Cults School, Cornhill School, Danestone School, Kingsford School, Culter School, Quarryhill School, Loirston School, Milltimber School, Braehead School, and Seaton Primary.

Due to the popularity of the competition and high quality of the entries, the judges decided several pavement gritters will also be named and they are Lightening GritQueen (Cornhill School), Derek McGrittas (Glashieburn School), Gritty Gritty Ice Bang (Forehill Primary School), Snowbuster (Countesswells School), Chilly Miller (Fernilea School), Gritty Gritty Bang Bang (Broomhill Primary School), Gilbert (Kirkhill Primary School), Salty (St Peter’s School), The Gritinator (Kingsford School), and Gritney Spears (Abbotswell School).

The competition was held among city schools to name the road gritters as people will be able to track them online for the first time this year at www.aberdeencity.gov.uk/winter. The road and pavement gritters will also have nameplates so people can see their names when they are out and about the city.

Each of the winning schools are to get a visit from ‘their’ gritter, and the gritter drivers will also give a talk about their working day, their early starts driving to work when the roads aren’t gritted, and what it’s like to keep the city’s roads safe for residents.

Pupils at Cults Primary School saw ‘their’ gritter The Gritest Showman today, resplendent in its new name.

Acting Headteacher Morven McKay said: “Our pupils had great fun coming up with the name. There were lots of suggestions put forward and plenty of debate to decide on the school’s entry.

“We’re looking forward to being able to track The Gritest Showman moving around the city keeping the roads open.”

The judges for the competition were the Lord Provost of Aberdeen Barney Crockett, a gritter driver, and a roads manager.

The Lord Provost said: “We’ve had a ‘flurry’ of entries for schools across the city and it’s been fantastic to see how witty and funny our youngsters are.

“We know ‘frost’ impressions count so it’s great we’re offering the chance for people to track gritters online for the first time this winter season as they’ll be able to see for themselves which part of the city the vehicles are out at, and at what times.

“Our gritter drivers do a fantastic job of ensuring the city’s main roads are gritted before the morning rush hour, and also gritting later on during the day if the conditions are bad.

“We hope the youngsters in the winning schools particularly enjoy tracking ‘their’ gritter as there’s ‘snow’ way I could have come up suggestions as witty as theirs!”

The 10 main gritters, along with 12 demountable road gritters, 21 pavement gritters, a de-icer vehicle and 12,000tonnes of salt in stock, and about 180 staff are due to be salting the city’s streets from Monday 11 November when early morning and standby gritting operations start.

Almost half (47%) of Aberdeen’s roads will be treated before 7.30am under the plans, with 590 miles of roads in the city – more than the distance from Aberdeen to London. Weather forecasts are closely monitored throughout the day and night, and gritters and ploughs can be out 24/7.

Roads and pavements in the city are prioritised for gritting according to their need including the main roads and pavements, and near sheltered housing and social work properties, near schools where possible, near fire stations, the crematorium, shopping centres, and near hospitals, and people are reminded gritters cannot be everywhere around the city at all times.

More information about how roads and streets are prioritised for gritting can be found at www.aberdeencity.gov.uk/winter.

PIX CAPTION: Pupils of Cults Primary with the big 18-wheel gritter which has been named with their entry – The Gritest Showman. Pictured at the front are Lord Provost of Aberdeen Barney Crockett and P6 pupil, 10-year-old Oliver Ironside, who came up with The Gritest Showman suggestion for the school

MIL OSI United Kingdom