An 18-tonne gritter bedecked in rainbow colours and sporting the slogan ‘North Yorkshire Salt of the Earth’ is to feature in the first-ever UCI Road World Championships publicity caravan.
The gritter – which usually carries more traditional highways livery – will be a striking addition to the cavalcade as it makes its way through many North Yorkshire communities during the final weekend of the championships - the cycling equivalent of the football world cup.
Along with the other vehicles in the caravan, the wagon will travel through towns and villages on September the 28th and 29th to help showcase the importance of this global event to the county and Yorkshire as a whole. It also carries a message that it’s hoped will resonate across the world reflecting the grit and resilience of North Yorkshire’s communities, including the Dales villages making a strong recovery from the summer’s flash flooding.
Richard Flinton, Chief executive of North Yorkshire County Council, said: “In North Yorkshire we take pride in delivering services that count. Our communities are strong because our people are the salt of the earth and we wanted to take this moment to celebrate those qualities with residents, businesses and the rest of the world.
“This is an incredible moment for us and we have an important story to tell. With some of the most spectacular landscapes in England and steeped in history and heritage we wanted to take our message back to grassroots and say this is who we are and we look forward to showing you what a terrific place North Yorkshire is.”
The council’s executive member for access, Cllr Don Mackenzie, added: “We have 5,750 miles of roads and maintaining them is a huge task – but a vital one. Roads connect communities, communities connect the county and the people living and working in our county will connect to the world throughout the championships this month.
“Since the Grand Depart in 2014 we have been building on our growing reputation as the home to world class cycling events. Viewers across some 90 nations will watch as the cyclists weave through our lanes and streets passing traditional dales, iconic landmarks and market towns. This is truly a moment not to be missed for North Yorkshire.”
Sponsored by the county council’s highway maintenance contractors – Ringway – the gritter is one of 86 supporting the winter service in the county as part of a fleet that have spread up to 80,000 tonnes of salt in some of the more extreme, recent winters.
Phil Jepps, Ringway Divisional Manager said: “We are incredibly proud of the services we provide in this county and our teams are out in all weathers, keeping the travelling public safe. This event, with the spotlight on the gritter; the workhorse of our emergency response, is a fitting tribute to the high quality of the county’s roads and the calibre of the people who keep us moving.”
Andy Hindley, CEO of Yorkshire 2019, added: “We are very excited to be the first hosts of the UCI Road World Championships to have a publicity caravan because it’s such a great way to engage the thousands of roadside spectators before the riders arrive. We are enormously grateful to North Yorkshire County Council for the role they have played in the planning for this huge sporting event and it is great to have them in the caravan.”
As is traditional with the publicity caravan – familiar with many residents and visitors thanks to the Tour de Yorkshire – the gritter will carry treats. With a nod to Yorkshire’s gritty reputation, the council will hand out free natural sea salt crisps provided by Yorkshire Crisps and handmade artisan salted caramel fudge from Harrogate brand Stirrd.
Tim Wheatley of The Yorkshire Crisp Company said: “We are very pleased to be able to support the UCI 2019 Road World Championships which will take place this year in God’s Own County and we will be providing bags of Natural Sea Salt Yorkshire Crisps to hand out to spectators. Yorkshire Crisps are made from specially selected Yorkshire-grown potatoes which are thinly sliced with the skin left on to make them extra crispy and retain all the best nutrients. They are hand-fried in hot sunflower oil for a few minutes and then drizzled whilst still warm, with totally natural seasonings. We are very proud of our Yorkshire heritage and are thrilled to be able to be involved with this prestigious sporting event. We hope all the recipients enjoy a taste of what Yorkshire has to offer.”
Rachael Best, brand manager at Stirrd, said: “We love cycling at Stirrd and we're excited that the UCI riders will be coming so close to our HQ in Harrogate. We can’t wait for people to try our melt-in-the-mouth, good-for-the-soul fudge while they’re cheering on the world’s best cyclists. To celebrate Yorkshire hosting one of the biggest UK sporting events this year we’re offering 20 per cent off a box of premium confectionery treats using code UCI2019 at www.areyoustirrd.co.uk”
The rainbow gritter was unveiled outside Bedale Hall this morning alongside the latest addition to North Yorkshire’s winter fleet – a state of the art six-wheeler, 25 tonne truck complete with four–way camera system. This new addition to the fleet of the council’s highways contractor Ringway will tackle some of the toughest routes in North Yorkshire this winter, including Sutton Bank.