Norfolk overspends by £1.2m on gritting

A record amount of gritting work in Norfolk this winter saw the County Council bust its budget by £1.2m.

Over 41,000 tonnes of salt was used on Norfolk’s roads during 159 gritting actions.

Based on a five-year average, the council usually carries out around 97 actions during the winter season.

The council treats 2080 miles in a three hour period every time the network is gritted, meaning that gritters covered 318,240 miles this winter in total – which is further than a journey to the moon.

Norfolk County Council carried out its first gritting run on October 27, with the last as recently as April 4.

The record level of gritting is likely to cost the council around £5m compared to the anticipated annual budget of £3.8m.

Nick Tupper, Highways Maintenance Manager at Norfolk County Council, said: “This has been an unprecedented winter for us in terms of the amount of gritting we have had to carry out.

“The weather was at times so severe that we also had to call in additional resources and the support of farmers. We have also seen some Town and Parish Councils gritting footways in their areas.

County Council highways staff have now switched their focus to the council’s annual road surface dressing programme worth £9.2m.

Tupper added: “The extreme cold weather has inevitably resulted in potholes and damage to road surfaces.

“From the beginning of December last year to the end of March we have completed repairs to just over 3,800 potholes.

“Many roads need much more substantial treatment though and they will be targeted through our surface dressing programme.

“With a large, predominately rural highway network, surface dressing is a very cost effective way of maintaining our roads”

 

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