This season's celebrity gritter - 'Chris Gritty' - marked another evolution in local roads maintenance, providing Transport for London (TfL) with a liquid de-icer/snowbrush mini-tractor combi to help support the rise in active travel in the capital.
Chris Gritty from VALE Engineering rose to fame last winter when the machine's name, which was inspired of course by the nation's popular chief medical officer, was featured on ITV This Morning with Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield.
The rise in profile saw more orders come in for the forthcoming winter, Vale said.
The less well-known story behind Chris Gritty's success is the rise in active travel; prompting a shift to de-icers in the winter service sector, which tackle ice more quickly than salt and do not require heavy trafficking to help take effect.
Cycling has grown by some 22% even in outer London, so TfL invested in Chris Gritty to help keep the capital moving.
James Wilson, managing director of VALE Engineering, commented: 'The Liquid De-icer/Snowbrush Mini-Tractor Combi has proven to be very successful at a number of local authorities, since its development in 2016.
'Having worked alongside a major city in the UK who has a growing cycle network, we have fine-tuned the product so that it is very easy to use, applies the de-icer accurately and consistently across the route and is reliable as well as being a very cost-effective option.'
The liquid de-icing sprayer is part of the VALE winter maintenance range, which includes trailed and mounted salt spreaders/gritters that can be used with tractors or 4x4 vehicles depending on application rate - all available for both purchase and hire.