Latest Public Sector News

29.10.12

Extra salt to tackle winter roads

Councils have 1.3 million tonnes of road salt for use this winter, new figures show. A survey conducted by the LGA found that 20% of councils in England and Wales have more salt than last year, to grit slippery roads and prevent accidents.

Many councils have invested in new fleets of GPS-tracked gritting trucks, mini-gritters and specialist vehicles for narrow and hilly streets. Residents have also been provided with their own bags of salt and local authority websites are being updated with the latest information on weather, gritting routes and school closures.

The survey found that 59% of councils are supplying salt and equipment to parish councils, community groups or snow wardens – ‘working with communities to tackle hard to reach areas’, as the LGA put it.

Cllr Peter Box, chair of the LGA’s Economy and Transport Board, said: “Whatever this winter throws at us, motorists and residents can count on council highways teams being well prepared to keep roads safe and traffic moving. They’ve got brand new gritters which use salt more effectively, the latest technology in snow ploughs and special quad-bikes and 4x4s to grit narrow or hilly roads.

“Councils will be receiving up-to-the minute reports from weather experts and their gritting teams are on standby around-the-clock. Highways, street-cleaning and park staff could also be drafted in to help clear snow and ice around places like shops, schools and sheltered accommodation.

“Keeping the country moving is a community effort. Councils will be treating as many roads as they can and have also installed and filled thousands of extra grit bins for people living in side streets, villages and housing estates.”

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