New gritters will be patrolling England’s motorways and major A roads this winter in a bid to keep traffic moving in bad weather.

The 93 new Highways England gritters are set to improve safety for drivers and workers due to the vehicles’ improved technology, set up and enhanced visibility. They also treat the roads at a maximum of 50mph, 10mph faster than earlier models.

“The latest vehicles contain innovative technology which includes being able to pre-programme the gritters with information specific to each gritting route,” said Highways England’s winter fleet manager Jane Wilkins.

“This enables salt to be spread onto the road automatically, considering any specific requirements for bridges, landscape and other road features allowing drivers to give their full attention to driving at all times.”

When severe weather is forecast Highways England urges drivers to follow this advice:

  • In snow and ice, drivers should stick to the main roads where they can and only travel if necessary – drivers are also encouraged to make sure they have a snow kit in their vehicle.
  • In high winds, there’s a particular risk to lorries, caravans and motorbikes, so drivers should slow down and avoid using exposed sections of road if possible.
  • In heavy rain, drivers should keep well back from the vehicle in front.
  • In fog, drivers should switch on their fog lights and not use lights on full beam as the fog will reflect the light back. If you really cannot see, you should consider finding a safe place to stop until it is safe to continue.