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Council prepares for the worst

Created on 02/11/2012 @ 11:07

Powys is preparing to welcome Arctic weather again this winter, and says it is taking no chances despite gritting levels dropping by a third last year.

The harsh weather of 2009 and 2010 caused havoc across the UK, but Powys County Council kept us on the move despite the treacherous conditions.
Salt levels ran perilously low and emergency services were stretched to the limit but somehow we pulled through with minimal disruption.
While last winter brought some welcome respite, the council says it will still prepare for the worst and has approved the same levels of service.
Cabinet Member for Highways, Councillor Barry Thomas said: “Our winter maintenance plan is well established and operates 24 hours a day throughout the winter months but has been severely tested during the past few winters.

“Although we had a slightly milder time last winter with around 70 pre-planned treatments compared to more than 100 in 2009 and 2010, we need to have the same level of staff and equipment ready if and when the wintery weather arrives.

“Last year the council invested in higher levels of salt stock raising reserves at the start of the season and will be doing the same again.

“But, even with increased stock we cannot cover every road in the county, that is impossible, but our winter plan concentrates on trunk roads and the major county routes – approximately 15% of the entire county network.

“Action is controlled by a dedicated team with decisions based on information from 2-5 day, and 24-hour detail weather forecasts, satellite imagery of current weather over Powys, and real-time conditions data from more than a dozen roadside ice sensors.

Councillor Thomas said the council would be re-stocking the many roadside and community salt stores for self-service during the winter. The county council has fleet of more than 30 gritters and last winter used more than 20,000 tonnes of salt in operations costing more than £1.5m.
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