Thousands of tonnes of extra road salt are being stored up by local authorities ahead of another potentially harsh winter, with orders rising to 1.4 million tonnes.
Car insurance providers will be hoping that the extra gritting of iced-over roads will cut the number of crashes that require them to pay out.
Stocking more salt for the beginning of this month than the total used in the whole of the last freeze is the aim of councils in England and Wales, said the Local Government Association (LGA).
More than half of councils have already raised their stock levels, virtually all have at least stockpiled the same amount as last year, and councils on average aim to hold 1,500 tonnes more to treat roads and pavements than at the start of last October.
Figures from the LGA suggested councils are heading into the winter with 1.4 million tonnes of salt, after they have received all deliveries, although four per cent still await some of the salt ordered.
© Press Association 2011