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Last Updated: Saturday, 18 June, 2005, 13:55 GMT 14:55 UK
Gritters out in summer heatwave
Gritter on road
The training exercise is taking place over the next few weeks.
Gritters were out on the streets of Birmingham as temperatures soared over the weekend.

A fleet of 50 gritters took part in an exercise to ensure drivers are up-to-date with their training and ready for the winter.

Drivers will have to undergo their assessment in fully equipped gritting lorries, complete with salt, ploughs and flashing lights.

Birmingham City Council said it hoped to be better prepared for the winter.

The council wants to ensure it does not have a repeat of January when freezing weather conditions brought traffic to a standstill across the West Midlands trapping many commuters for hours.

Neil Dancer, Chief Highway Engineer, said "Retraining has to take place every five years and we take this opportunity in the quieter pre-summer holiday season to get our drivers fully up to speed, before the winter rush begins.

"So it may be unusual to see gritters on the road at this time of year, but it assists us in ensuring we are better prepared to cope with whatever the weather throws at us."

The training exercise is taking place over the next few weeks.

Gridlock as ice hits city roads
29 Jan 04 |  West Midlands

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