IT’S snow joke… a gritter fell victim to the weather twice in one day, when it went off the road in two different locations, and led to the closure of two county roads.

As the Courier reported yesterday, the gritter, owned by East Lothian Council, took a tumble just outside Gifford on Monday afternoon at about 3.45pm, at Myreside near the Chippendale International School of Furniture.

The driver was uninjured, while the vehicle was recovered and returned to its route.

It has now emerged that later that night, the same gritter, with a different driver, fell off the B6355 at the crossroads near Danskine, just outside Gifford.

The driver was again unharmed; he was picked up and returned home, while the gritter was recovered at about 9am on Tuesday, and continued on its route with additional tractor and snow clearing support.

After this second incident, two roads linking East Lothian to the Borders were closed.

The B6355 road from Townhead near Yester Castle to Cranshaws, and the C133 to Longformacus, are shut.

East Lothian Council urged residents to take note of the local weather forecast, take care and drive to the conditions.

A council spokesperson said: “The B6355 (Duns Road) and C133 (Fasney Road) were both closed from Townhead to Cranshaws and Longformacus respectively due to drifting snow caused by strong winds.

“These two incidents highlight the hazards our staff experience to keep the roads safe for the people of East Lothian.”

East Lothian Council has 15 gritters and 10 mini tractors available to treat roads and pavements during periods of ice and snow.

Since last Friday, up to 50 people have been involved in the council’s winter maintenance operations, with more than 320 tonnes of rock salt used on the roads.

In adverse weather conditions, a shift pattern is put in place to ensure resources are used as effectively as possible.

Responsible for more than 1,000 kilometres of road, the council operates a system with, where possible, priority given to treating major roads and important bus routes before ice and snow form.

Once these main routes have been treated, minor routes, such as those in housing estates, are treated during normal working hours.

The council regularly check and receive weather information specific to East Lothian from the Met Office and aim to carry out treatment before ice forms and snow settles.

A council spokesperson added: “Due to the nature of the work, the treatment vehicles can themselves be caught by poor weather conditions, with one instance this week of a gritter coming off the road near Gifford.

“Thankfully, no one was injured and the lorry was back out treating our roads and clearing snow within a few hours.

 “Drifting snow, particularly in rural areas, can block roads and the council will use ploughs, supported by farmers and contractors, to help clear these routes.”