Ten of the county’s gritters now have their own identities after hundreds of schoolchildren took part in a competition to name them.
Essex County Council’s fleet of 64 gritting lorries spreads about 20,000 tonnes of salt each winter, treating 2,000 miles of Essex roads.
Names will soon be branded on ten of them after primary school pupils across the county put forward suggestions for what they should be called.
The winners, which included entries inspired by the names of a composer (Gustav Holst), pop star (Britney Spears) and ancient conqueror (Alexander the Great), were chosen by Cllr Ray Gooding, Essex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Education and Lifelong Learning, and Cllr Eddie Johnson, Essex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways Delivery.
- Grit Monster (Ellie Grace Burrell, Eversley Primary School, Pitsea)
- Alexander the Grit (Alexander Andrews, Silver End Primary School)
- Gritney Spears (Ava Adcock, Larchwood Primary School, Pilgrims Hatch)
- Mrs Good Grit (Chloe Gray-Tedham, Trinity St Mary’s Primary School, South Woodham Ferrers)
- Big G (Keira Crisp, Lexden Primary School, Colchester)
- Levi (Levi Stuttle, Freshwaters Primary Academy, Harlow)
- Ice Buster (Frank Dibley, Heybridge Primary School)
- Ice Exterminator (Year 3 at Holt Farm Junior School, Rochford)
- Rory (Year 6 at Frinton Primary School)
- Gustav (Heidi Gill, Thaxted Primary School)
The winning schools will now have a free ice and fire workshop delivered at their school this term, courtesy of the Essex Country Parks Outdoor Learning Team.
Each school will also be visited by one of the county’s gritters in the coming weeks.
Cllr Johnson said: “Our fleet of gritters plays a vital role in keeping the county moving during the colder months.
“While this winter has been unusually mild, the gritters have still completed 31 operations, spreading 5,948 tonnes of salt mix and covering an average of 2,000 miles of road for each operation.
“I hope this competition has been good fun for the pupils involved and also taught them a bit more about road safety and what we do to keep our roads safe in icy weather.”
Cllr Gooding added: “We received some excellent and very imaginative entries from school pupils across Essex.
“I thoroughly enjoyed reviewing them all and am delighted the winners will now get the opportunity to continue their learning by taking part in workshops delivered by our Country Parks staff.”