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Gemma shows true grit - with first gritting run on Christmas Eve

PUBLISHED: 11:01 26 December 2018 | UPDATED: 11:01 26 December 2018

Gemma Allard was making her first run as a gritter driver on Christmas Eve. Picture: SUFFOLK HIGHWAYS

Gemma Allard was making her first run as a gritter driver on Christmas Eve. Picture: SUFFOLK HIGHWAYS

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Suffolk’s only female gritter driver, Gemma Allard, took part in her first run on Christmas Eve.

Gemma Allard with a news bill about her training as a gritter driver Picture: SUFFOLK HIGHWAYSGemma Allard with a news bill about her training as a gritter driver Picture: SUFFOLK HIGHWAYS

Gemma, 26, from Felixstowe, is a member of Suffolk Highways’ communications team - but decided to train as a gritter driver and get out on the county’s roads this winter.

Suffolk Highways communications and customer services manager Lloyd Jones tweeted: “It’s Gemma’s first gritting run on Christmas Eve! What a trooper! Well done, Gem, and all the best for your first outing. So proud.”

After passing her HGV test, Gemma had to complete specialist training before being able to get behind the wheel of a gritter.

She is the only female driver in the team this year, although there have been other women drivers behind the wheel of the gritter lorries in Suffolk in the past.

Gemma has said she does not mind getting up in the early hours, commenting: “I like early starts. Getting up in the small hours doesn’t worry me. I love being in the lorries.”

She also said another experienced driver would be out with her as she learned the job, but she hoped to be able to go out on her own before the end of the winter season.

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