Calderdale Council reiterates position over gritting drivers and correct licences

Calderdale Council has re-iterated it is satisfied all drivers undertaking gritting of the borough’s roads on its behalf have the relevant licence, training and qualifications for the job.

By John Greenwood - Local Democracy Reporter
Tuesday, 1st February 2022, 8:58 am

A spokesperson said the authority was satisfied all drivers undertaking gritting activities for the authority hold the appropriate licence for the vehicle being used, in accordance with current regulations, and are suitably trained, holding a City and Guilds Winter Service Operations qualification that is specifically relevant to the vehicle they drive.

Last December 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.

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Gritters at work

But a spokesperson for the authority said robust contract management systems are in place to ensure that all drivers undertaking the task behalf of the council have the right licences, training and qualifications.

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The resident has contacted the service again, alleging that earlier this month one of the tractor trailer gritters was stopped by the police for driving without an HGV licence.

A council spokesperson confirmed a driver had been spoken to but no action had been taken and discussions with the police had taken place following the incident.

“We are aware that one of our drivers was recently spoken to by police officers who checked their licence.

“We understand no further action has been taken, and we’ve since been in ongoing discussions with our police colleagues and legal teams to ensure we can clarify this matter.

“As always, the safety of the public is our priority and we’ll ensure that our contractors continue to comply with the relevant legislation around working and driving hours and that their vehicles, plant and trailers are kept in good condition at all times,” said the spokesperson.

In December, a council spokesperson said contractors are required to ensure that they comply with legislation in relation to driving hours (Regulation (EC) 561/2006) and working time (Directive 2002/15/EC).

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