Newly named gritter ready to ‘Usain Salt’ Hampshire’s roads

16 March 2016
Image of school children in front of a gritter.

Amey has named one of its gritting vehicles Usain Salt after a competition to name the vehicle was won by a pupil at St Bede Church of England Primary School in Winchester.

A competition took place amongst the pupils at the school to come up with a suitable name for the gritter. The winner was nine-year-old Veronica Vodden, who is part of Dickens Class at the school.

Usain Salt was officially named at a special event held at the school. As well as a brief talk on the winter service by Amey’s Customer Services Manager, David Fawcett, certificates were presented to competition runners-up before Veronica and her fellow pupils had the opportunity to have a closer look at the vehicle and discuss how the roads are kept safe in winter.

Paul Anderson, Account Director from Amey, said: “I am always delighted and amazed at the names that are suggested for our gritters and Usain Salt is no exception. It’s has been a pleasure working with St Bede and getting teachers and pupils involved in naming one of our fleet. Recent vehicles have been named Hagrit, Rainbow Rocks, Mission Christmas and Jack de Frost. Usain Salt now joins them in Hampshire.

David Metcalfe, Deputy Headteacher at St Bede Church of England Primary School, added: “Our pupils had a great time coming up with suitable names for the gritter and it was wonderful to have Usain Salt race into the school and meet Veronica!”

The competition was suggested by Gina Chandler and Mike Seed from Hampshire County Council. The event led by David Fawcett was also attended by Tom Castle, Paul Coombes, Ben Wallis and Nathan Corneby from Amey.

Usain Salt is the dedicated gritting vehicle which salts the route around the Winchester area. It is the seventh to be named of the 51 salting vehicles that Amey operates on behalf of Hampshire County Council.

Councillor Seán Woodward, Executive Member for Economy, Transport and Environment at Hampshire County Council, said: “Keeping Hampshire Moving, so people can get to work and school, whatever the weather, is a priority for the County Council, and Usain Salt will be playing its part in keeping Winchester’s main roads clear of ice when temperatures drop. Well done to Veronica for coming up with such an excellent name, and to all her fellow students for taking part in the competition.”

Hampshire’s highways teams are on full alert from October to the end of April, ready to deal with wintry road conditions. 51 salting vehicles and snow ploughs have already been checked and are kept on stand-by, weather and road conditions are now routinely being monitored 24 hours a day seven days a week and around 3,700 roadside salt bins are available have been filled for community use.