A newly-commissioned gritter named by a seven-year-old schoolboy has taken to the roads to battle the winter elements.

“Freezing Frank” was out gritting the roads in Hertfordshire for the first time on December 19 since Fleetville Junior School pupil, Charlie Wappett gave him his name.

Charlie entered the name in a competition at the Hertfordshire County Show in May this year, which was later selected by highways staff.

Hertfordshire County Council and Ringway, who operate gritters in the county, took “Freezing Frank” to meet Charlie at his school.

Charlie said: “I’m so excited I won the competition and it was cool seeing my name on the gritter. I chose the name Freezing Frank as it has alliteration, which we have been learning at school. I’ll be looking out for Freezing Frank going past my house.”

Phil Bibby, cabinet member for highways, said: “Freezing Frank and our other 57 gritters are ready around the clock to cover nearly half of Hertfordshire's entire road network – that’s more than 1,553 miles or the equivalent of salting from Hertford to Berlin and back.

“Our crews will be on standby 24 hours a day until April, ready to deal with whatever the weather throws at us.”