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Ripon-built gritter named after radio legend

A gritter built by Yorkshire-based Econ Engineering has been renamed after BBC Radio Two presenter Zoe Ball.

Ripon-built gritter named after radio legend

A gritter built by Ripon-based Econ Engineering has been renamed after BBC Radio Two presenter Zoe Ball.

The vehicle, which forms part of Hertfordshire County Council’s 70-strong fleet, has been re-branded ‘Snowy Ball’ in honour of the breakfast show host.

A delighted Zoe proclaimed “I’ve made it!” after being surprised live on air by traffic and travel reporter Richie Anderson who was reporting live from the council’s Stevenage gritting depot.

She said:

“I am absolutely speechless.

"I can’t really believe it. Honestly, mum, dad… I’ve made it! I’ve got a gritter named after me."

Zoe has been urging listeners to get in touch with the show and share their best gritter names, with the likes of Spready Mercury and Taylor Drift among the favourites.

Richie spent a morning broadcasting live from the depot this week, learning about how crews and gritters treat the roads to keep them safe throughout the winter.

Hertfordshire County Council is just one of the many councils and contractors who purchase their gritters from Econ Engineering, which supplies 85% of the nation’s winter maintenance vehicles from its base in North Yorkshire.

Managing director, Jonathan Lupton, was delighted that a vehicle born out of the Ripon assembly plant had been awarded such a befitting name.

He said:

“We are proud of all the gritters which leave the assembly plant in Ripon bearing the Econ name, and we will be keeping a particularly close eye on ‘Snowy Ball’, now that it is out on the roads doing its bit to keep the nation moving.

“We think ‘Snowy Ball’ is a wonderful name for a gritter and we thank Zoe and the BBC Radio 2 breakfast team for shining a light on the wonderful work of gritter crews who do such wonderful work up and down the country at this time of year.”

Phil Bibby, Executive Member for Highways and Transport at Hertfordshire County Council, said:

“It’s been a real pleasure to have Richie at the depot today, showing him how our gritting teams treat the county’s road network.

“We know the roads matter to our residents and they matter to us too, which is why we’re with you this winter, with our gritting teams on standby 24/7 from 1 October until 30 April, treating over 1,550 miles of Hertfordshire’s roads.”

Read more local stories from Your Harrogate here.

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