Concerns raised over licences for Calderdale gritting drivers

All drivers who grit icy roads for the council in winter hold the appropriate licences, the council has confirmed.

Friday, 3rd December 2021, 11:53 am
Updated Friday, 3rd December 2021, 2:36 pm

The Local Democracy Reporting Service was contacted by a resident claiming some of Calderdale Council’s gritting was being carried out using equipment including tractor-trailer combinations by drivers which did not have the appropriate licences and argued this might put the public at risk.

The resident claimed an HGV licence is required because of the weight of the vehicle and because the tractor is not being driven for agricultural use.

But a spokesperson for the authority said robust contract management systems are in place to ensure that all drivers undertaking gritting activities on behalf of Calderdale Council hold the appropriate licence for the vehicle being used, in accordance with current regulations, and are suitably trained (holding a City & Guilds Winter Service Operations qualification that is specifically relevant to the vehicle they drive).

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Gritting vehicle in action

Contractors are also required to ensure that they comply with legislation in relation to driving hours (Regulation (EC) 561/2006) and working time (Directive 2002/15/EC), said the spokesperson.

“Additionally, all vehicles and trailers have to be tested annually at an authorised testing facility to ensure their road-worthiness, and contractors must ensure that vehicles, plant and trailers are kept in good condition at all times.

“Therefore, the council is satisfied that it has undertaken the necessary due diligence to ensure that current arrangements do not present any undue risk to members of the public,” said the spokesperson.

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