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Meet The Man Behind The Gritter!

Flashback to January 25th  2013 Maerdy mountain road Aberdare

Meet Ross, who is part of the team who are out and about keeping you moving through the #winterweather that is forecasted over the next few days.

With winter now in full swing, it’s good to know we’re in safe hands when inclement weather like this hits!

View full winter service information on this website

Ross Williams, aged 30 from Cwmbach has been gritting our highways for 9 years and he’s once again out and about in all weather conditions day and night to do his very best to keep residents moving.

Ross is just one of the men in the 20 gritting vehicles that are out and about 24/7 making sure our roads are safe when Jack Frost pays the County Borough a visit.

Ross also forms part of Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Out of Hours 24/7 Response Team. The dedicated workforce that declares war on winter and lots more while residents sleep!

The team are ready for action as the Council currently boasts 20 purpose built gritting vehicles that are deployed across the County Borough, driven by the winter maintenance teams during snow and icy conditions to keep residents moving in inclement weather. The team maintains 1250km of carriageways and undertakes pro-active winter service between the core period of October 1st and April 30th. 

In a single run of the Precautionary Salting Network (i.e. priority routes), staff cover a length of 267 miles – that’s the equivalent of travelling from Aberdare to Lake Windermere! Between 50 and 70 tonnes of salt is spread per run during this time (depending on the weather forecast).

 Ross, has a young family and often has call outs in the early hours to deal with emergencies – these range from stolen man hole covers, icy roads to Road Traffic Collisions and lots more. So Ross leaves his comfy warm bedto deal with the situations.  

Ross said: “I love my job, everyday is different and knowing that what I do helps people makes the cold late nights/early mornings worthwhile. My partner worries when I’m out and about in all sorts of weather conditions, but she knows it’s something that has to be done. I don’t like leaving my little ones in the middle of the night, but they know that daddy has an important job to do.    

“I’ve been doing this job for a long time and I’ve seen a fair bit now, especially heavy snowfall over the years.” 

To help the teams, new technology has now been installed in the vehicles that will help them to navigate around the routes, this new machine will also automatically turn salt on and off, resulting in less wastage.

Leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf Council, who also has responsibility for Highways, Cllr Andrew Morgan, said: “It’s thanks to the dedicated work of people like Ross that residents and motorists are able to safely travel around the County Borough during the winter months. They work 24/7 often whilst the rest of us are asleep in bed. It’s important that we support the work they do and be thankful that our staff are out there doing their very best to keep our roads safe in often treacherous conditions.” 

“At any time, when the conditions require it, there are approximately 10 gritting vehicles out across the County Borough through the night with all 20 vehicles deployed during heavy snowfall. 

“The gritting vehicles have been built to include the latest technology in salt distribution and are fitted with trackers and salt monitoring systems, which allow the Council to programme the vehicles accurately, depending on the route and weather conditions. 

“This results in a more effective and efficient use of the salt supplies, reducing costs and the environmental impact that the salt has on our County Borough.”

Residents are reminded that during periods of inclement weather it is important that cars are parked safely so that gritting lorries can get through and treat the roads. They are also reminded that grit bins are there to treat public highways and foot paths not personal drives – where possible ensure elderly and less mobile residents are given priority access. 

View full winter service information on this website or to report an issue out of hours call 01443 425001.