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Quarter of county’s salt supplies gone already

Created on 02/12/2010 @ 13:09


Nearly a quarter of Powys’ salt supply has already been used since last weekend as the county council battles to keep major roads open in Arctic conditions.
The news comes despite the council increasing its salt reserves by 20 per cent following last winter’s severe weather, but the early arrival of snow and plunging temperatures has already taken its toll.
Board Member for Roads, Councillor Geraint Hopkins said: “After last winter we aimed to increase our salt reserves to 20,000 tonnes. We had expected to be fully stocked by Christmas and had 16,000 tonnes in the county last week.
“But, the early arrival of harsh weather has meant crews have been out in force and we have used 4,000 tonnes in a matter of days. The crews have been doing a tremendous job, working in dreadful conditions 24 hours a day, to treat as many roads as possible.

“Our depots are expecting extra supplies before Christmas but delivery now depends on the national situation and available reserves at the mines. We have to concentrate our efforts on the primary network, we realise this causes frustration for some motorists but we have to prioritise our resources and use them effectively.”
Councillor Hopkins urged residents to be responsible when using roadside salt bins and salt stocks to help conserve stocks where possible.
“We have 3,000 tonnes of salt in bins and roadside dumps across the county for residents to help themselves. I urge people to use precious resources sparingly; there have been isolated cases where entire bins and dumps have been taken. We will not be able to replenish supplies until we get additional stock and road conditions improve.”
The weekend weather forecast is bleak, but there was some good news today with all schools in the Welshpool area open.
This year, Powys County Council carried out a review of last year's operations and as a result increased its capacity by 20per cent and introduced new policies including detailed monitoring procedures if stock falls below 7,000tonnes. If levels fall below 5,000tonnes, treatment will be ceased on all but the primary road network and in emergency response calls. If levels fall below 3,000, an emergency committee will direct actions.
Powys treats 480km of trunk road on behalf of the Welsh Assembly Government; 980km of county roads and treats 1000km of secondary routes (It is this element that is not treated if stock levels fall below 5,000tonnes)
Information about road closures is published on the council’s website


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