Skip To The Main Content

Concerns over road salt shortage

by  | 

Concerns have been raised over the potential lack of gritting salt for roads, after weather forecasters predicted heavy snowfall in the country this week.

According to a study by the AA, around 50% of local councils have salt stocks that would last just six days of continuous freezing weather.

The councils, which are responsible for local roads, had a quarter of a million tonnes less road salt in stock that they would have carried a decade ago, the AA's sources claimed.

About 1,000 people are killed or seriously injured on snowy and icy roads each winter and hospital casualty departments are often inundated with people who have slipped and fallen, the organisation said.

It added that many authorities relied on "just in time" deliveries, leaving roads vulnerable to a lengthy freeze or major snowfall.

The AA president, Edmund King, said he had sought assurances from the Local Government Association (LGA) that there would not be a repeat of the February snow chaos on the roads.

However the Highways Agency, which looks after England's motorways and major A roads, has insisted that it  was adequately prepared for cold weather this winter.

Mr King insisted: "We accept that not every road can be treated, but we must do a lot more to keep the wheels of the economy turning in winter emergencies and 'routine' winter weather. That means getting enough salt stocks in place now."

© Press Association 2009