Cumbria stocks up with 20,000 tonnes of salt

Cumbria County Council has shipped in an extra 20,000 tonnes of salt to deal with what is expected to be a third successive severe winter.

The authority said it had set aside £3.9m to keep vital roads open, with some forecasts predicting a cold snap of -20C before Christmas.

Salt stocks in the county currently stand at 43,000 tonnes, with £25,000 spent on extra storage shelters.

Last winter hundreds of schools and minor roads were closed due to snow.

During the worst of last winter’ s weather, council gritters were using about 1,000 tonnes of salt a day.

A council spokesman said: “The budget for winter maintenance this year is £3.9m. The increase in the salt purchased this year makes it less likely that emergency purchases of salt should be required.

“We have capacity for 43,000 tonnes of salt – 20,000 more tonnes than previous years.

“The decision to purchase more salt in the summer, when the cost was low, was taken following the effects of the previous two harsh winters.

“To accommodate this £25,000 was set aside to build extra storage shelters.

“We are already fully stocked to our maximum levels, which is ahead of last year, and work continues to ensure we have in place the additional stock piles approved by Cabinet.”

A spokeswoman for the Department for Transport added: “We continue to take action to ensure that the country will enter this winter season well prepared.

“This includes having a strategic salt stockpile, setting up a salt stock portal to carefully monitor how much salt stock local highway authorities hold as well as making sure councils make best use of their salt supplies.

“It will now be for local authorities to ensure that they are ready and prepared in tackling any severe wintry weather that we may face.”

 

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