1.2m tonnes of salt stockpiled for winter

Local authorities have stockpiled 1.2 million tonnes of salt in readiness for winter, according to a new survey of highways bosses.

The Local Government Association’s (LGA) annual Winter Readiness Survey shows that councils are well prepared for plummeting temperatures with a substantial stock of grit. About half are at the limit of storage capacity.

Gritters will be out treating thousands of miles of roads whenever overnight temperatures drop below zero in the coming days.

The survey also shows more than 80% of councils have placed community grit bins for residents to access salt for pavements and side streets and 87% are using state-of-the-art GPS technology on the gritting fleets.

Social media will also be a more important tool for councils communicating with residents with 95% of councils using Twitter accounts to keep people up-to-date with weather forecasts, road conditions and gritting activity.

Cllr Peter Box, LGA environment spokesman, said: “Councils are fully prepared to protect residents and minimise disruption to their residents caused by the drop in temperatures. They are constantly monitoring up-to-the-minute weather reports to make sure they can stay one step ahead of the weather. We are well prepared for the cold with 1.2 million tonnes of salt stockpiled and a fleet of state-of-the-art gritters ready to be deployed.

“Councils will treat as many roads as possible during the cold snap and have also filled thousands of community grit bins and recruited volunteers to help people clear pavements, paths and side streets when needed.”

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