Yorkshire firm’s vehicles to keep London’s roads clear during winter freeze

Three contractors awarded framework agreements to keep London’s roads ice and snow free have turned to North-Yorkshire-based Econ Engineering to supply them with gritters.

For the next seven years, 33 Econ vehicles, will be located at different points within the capital, ready to mobilise as soon as temperatures plummet.

Two years ago, Transport for London (TfL) tendered three new area contracts, Central, North and South, for its Highways Framework. This replaced the previous seven-year agreement which covered four areas, South, Central, North-East and North-West.

In October 2020, TfL awarded the Central contract to Ringway; the North contract to a Tarmac and Kier Joint Venture, with FM Conway awarded the South contract. The combined value of all three contracts is estimated to be worth £1.4bn.

During the last 12 months, the Econ team began negotiations with all three contracting companies, to determine how it could help support their requirements for winter maintenance vehicles.

Econ Engineering – which has its main manufacturing base in Ripon, North Yorkshire and has opened two engineering hubs in Alloa, Scotland, and the Welsh capital Cardiff – produces 85% of winter maintenance vehicles seen on the UK’s roads.

Ringway has purchased 11 new gritters, with all the vehicles signed up on an eight-year repair and maintenance contract.

The Tarmac/Kier JV has hired 13 gritters through Econ’s own Contract Hire Fleet Services. All of these gritters will be run on HVO (hydrogen and Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil) fuel from day one to reduce their carbon footprint.

FM Conway has hired nine gritters. Following a successful trial of AWT’s Tracking and Navigation system, it was also decided to have the vehicles fitted with this equipment.

Jonathan Lupton, from Econ Engineering, said: “This is a significant contract award for us and demonstrates our standing within the highways and transports sector.

“For more than 50 years, Econ has become an industry leader in the manufacturing of gritters, and our vehicles are used by councils, highways agencies, and road contractors the length and breadth of the UK.

“In addition to selling gritters, we also have an extensive hire fleet, and two of the three TfL framework contractors have chosen to go down this route.”

A TfL spokesman added: “For the next seven years the three contractors will be ensuring our roads are kept open whatever the weather conditions.

“And for their part, they have chosen Econ Engineering to supply them with the necessary vehicles to ensure they fulfil their contractual obligations.”

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