Councils across the country have been getting prepared for winter and together have stockpiled over 1.4 million tonnes of salt, to ensure road users can keep travelling through the winter weather.
Councils have an average of nine full-size gritters each and 94% of the country’s councils have either the same levels of rock salt stock as last year, or more.
Most notably, Leicester County Council and Sunderland City Council have 18,500 tonnes and 17,000 tonnes of rock salt stockpiled, respectively. Leicester now also has 23 gritters available, while Sunderland has 36 tractors and mini tractors.
As well as this, councils are preparing for the winter weather by providing salt bins at known trouble spots, for the public to use when necessary, and are using specialist weather forecasting systems to help predict more accurately when roads will need gritting. They are also stockpiling sandbags and providing salt to schools to help ensure students get home safe.
The preparations come as a joint effort to make sure the country is better equipped to respond to harsh storms after the “Beast from the East” created travel chaos earlier this year. Early forecasts show that the country is likely to experience heavy winds, freezing temperatures and heavy snowfall this winter. Some parts of the country, predominantly in the south, have already seen snowfall this winter.
However, despite their planning, budget and resource limitations have restricted many councils in their winter preparations. Many councils will have to share resources with other councils, with 55% sharing their salt stocks, 30% sharing gritting material and 22% arranging to send their staff to neighbouring areas that are short staffed, when needed.
LGA transport spokesperson Martin Tett is confident that the council has done everything possible to tackle the tough weather, this year: “Councils are constantly monitoring the weather, with up-to-the-minute reports to stay one step ahead. Depots are filled with 1.4 million tonnes of salt and gritters are ready to be deployed instantly to make sure our local roads are clear and open to our residents where possible.”
For more news on how this year’s winter weather will affect road and travel conditions this winter and for the latest road safety news, be sure to keep up to date with the Anglo Liners blog.