Newly-named gritter takes to the road

Published: 21 Dec 2018

Newly-named gritter ‘Freezing Frank’ took to the road this Wednesday (19 December) to meet the St Albans school student who named him.

At the Herts County Show in May, 7-year-old Charlie Wappett – a pupil at Fleetville Junior School in St Albans – entered the name ‘Freezing Frank’ into the county council’s ‘name the gritter’ competition, and after a vote by highways staff this was chosen as the winning name.

Hertfordshire County Council and Ringway, who operate the gritters for the county council, have now named the gritter which grits the roads near Charlie’s home and goes past his school ‘Freezing Frank’ and took the gritter to meet Charlie at his school.

Charlie said: “I’m so excited I won the competition and it was cool seeing my name on the gritter. I chose the name Freezing Frank as it has alliteration, which we have been learning at school. I’ll be looking out for Freezing Frank going past my house.”

Phil Bibby, Cabinet Member for Highways, said: “Freezing Frank and our other 57 gritters are ready around the clock to cover nearly half of Hertfordshire's entire road network – that’s more than 2,500km (1,553 miles) or the equivalent of salting from Hertford to Berlin and back. Our crews will be on standby 24 hours a day until April, ready to deal with whatever the weather throws at us.

“We don’t know how much, if any, snow and ice we’ll see this winter, but I’m confident that our highways teams are ready and we will do everything we can to keep the county’s roads open and safe whatever the weather.”

‘Freezing Frank’ is operated by the county council’s highways contractor Ringway and is based at the South Mimms highways depot. It covers a route including the A1057 Hatfield Road, A1081 and Victoria Street in St Albans, and the A1001 and A6129 in Welwyn and Hatfield.