Snowlaf the road gritter falls victim to black ice

Snowlaf lies on its side with Catacol and the mountains behind providing an indication of the snow and icy conditions.

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The driver of a North Ayrshire Council gritting lorry affectionately known as Snowlaf had a near-miss on Monday after the vehicle skidded on black ice and toppled over on to the grass verge.

The incident, which took place in the north of the island, at The Craw, Catacol, thankfully left the driver unharmed but shaken.

The gritter is a valued member of a team of snow ploughs and gritting vehicles that have been working round-the-clock over the last month, ensuring Arran’s roads and pavements are safe during the spell of freezing weather.

A spokesperson for North Ayrshire Council said: ‘We can confirm that one of our gritters went off the road earlier today after encountering some black ice.

‘The driver was understandably shaken by the incident, but thankfully was not harmed.

‘A replacement vehicle will be in use while repairs are being carried out to the damaged vehicle.

‘From October to April, our roads team constantly monitor weather forecast information and our fleet of gritting vehicles and snow ploughs are on 24 hours standby. When snow and ice is forecast, we operate a priority system to ensure the most important and busiest routes are treated first.’

Snowlaf was recovered later that day and is expected to return to service once repairs have been carried out.

Further information about gritting on Arran, where to find your nearest grit bin and advice on clearing snow and ice from public footways, can be found at

Photographs: Allan Napier

A scary incident for the driver but thankfully he was unharmed after the vehicle slipped on black ice and toppled over.