Grit Down on It: Residents help rename council gritters

West Dunbartonshire Council launched a competition last month to rebrand the trucks ahead of winter.

Grit Down on It: Residents help rename council gritters West Dunbartonshire Council via Email
Grit Down on It: The council's eight gritters have been given new names.

Residents in West Dunbartonshire have renamed the council’s eight gritters.

A competition was launched last month to rebrand the trucks ahead of winter.

After more than 300 entries, the winning names picked were:

  • Ben Snowmond, nominated by Jen Watt
  • Humphry Clinker the Grit Sprinkler, nominated by George McKeown
  • Singer Salting Machine, nominated by Sheila Donnelly
  • George Plowie, nominated by John McInally
  • The Spreadable Hulk, nominated by Adam Ramage
  • Grit Down On it, nominated by Mhairi Halliday
  • Saltasaurus, nominated by Sam Lyle
  • Sharleen Griteri, nominated by Jacqui Edwards

Many of the names were chosen due to local interest.

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Humphry Clinker the Grit Sprinkler was named after a character in one of Tobias Smollet’s books, an author and poet from Renton.

Sharleen Griteri was named after Texas frontwoman Sharleen Spiteri, who was brought up in Balloch and attended Vale of Leven Academy.

Meanwhile, Singer Salting Machine pays tribute to a sewing machine company based in Clydebank that sells products around the world from the edge of the Clyde.

The newly-branded vehicles will be out gritting West Dunbartonshire’s roads all through winter.

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Councillor Iain McLaren, convener of infrastructure, regeneration and economic development, said: “A big thank you to everyone who took the time to enter the competition, especially our winners. 

“With more than 300 entries, it was extremely difficult to pick just eight names, and so many of the suggestions really made us laugh.

“I hope the winners feel proud when they see the gritter they named out on the streets of West Dunbartonshire, keeping us all moving through the worst of the winter weather.

“Of course, if severe weather hits, then some disruptions may be inevitable, but a lot of work has gone into preparations for winter, and we will do everything we can to keep this to a minimum.”

More than 4000 tonnes of rock salt is available to help keep West Dunbartonshire moving this winter.

The road teams have been on 24-hour standby since October, reacting when temperatures dip below freezing or if there is a risk of ice.

When severe weather conditions are forecast, the council grits more than 60% of the local authority’s public road network. The Greenspace team also work to ensure footpaths near schools, care homes, hospitals and other priority routes are kept clear.

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The council has more than 450 roadside grit bins across the area, meaning that generally no home is more than 300m from a supply should it become necessary. This level of provision is one of the highest per heads of population in Scotland.

Councillor Marie McNair, vice convener of infrastructure, regeneration and economic development, added: “Our roads team work tirelessly every winter and this year will be no different. 

“Often the weather can turn quickly and without much advance notice, so I would encourage all residents to think about what they can do now to prepare, before any bouts of severe weather hit. 

“I would also ask residents to think of what they can do to help in their area during bad weather, including checking on any elderly or vulnerable neighbours.”

A map detailing gritting routes and locations of grit bins is available on the council’s website.