The four new state-of-the-art vehicles, which cost a total of £740,000, are more efficient with the latest engines, and advanced gully and drain cleaning technology.

The gully tankers are slightly larger than the previous vehicles, with greater capacity to allow more gullies to be cleaned and fewer trips needed to the gully waste disposal facility.

This will make the routine cleaning operation more efficient and with the added functionality of the vehicles this will reduce the reliance on external support to help unblock drainage pipes.

The vehicles are equipped with a powerful jetter that can cut through tree roots and clear a blocked line more quickly which greatly improves the ability to remove surface water from roads.

Cllr John Riddle, cabinet member for local services, said: ‘We’re always looking at ways of keeping Northumberland greener and cleaner and these machines play a key role in keeping our roads and streets in good condition as well as preventing certain types of flooding.

‘As everyone has seen, the winter storms washed lots of debris into roads and down drains and we have to make sure we are cleaning out and keeping these gullies clear to avoid storing up problems for the future.

‘And while they may move slowly, these gully emptiers rack up a tremendous amount of miles so with better engine technology we can look forward to less breakages and reduced fuel costs.’