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Big concern as half of salt supplies used already

 
Created on 07/12/2010 @ 15:10

 

 
Half of Powys’ salt supply has been used up already as the county council battles to keep major roads open in the ongoing arctic conditions.

The council decided to increase its salt reserves by 20 per cent following last winter’s severe weather, but the early arrival of snow and persistent 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 by the end of November. But the early arrival of harsh weather has meant crews have been out in force.

“As of yesterday (December 6), the council had just 8,500 tonnes remaining in store. Our depots are expecting extra supplies before Christmas but delivery now depends on the national situation and available reserves at the mines.”

With the county of Powys covering around a quarter of the area of Wales, the county's road network is vast.  The council treats 430km of trunk road; 980km of county roads; and 1000km of secondary routes. Councillor Hopkins added: “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.

“If the current conditions continue, there may be a need to restrict or vary the use of salt and treatments. If salt stock falls to a critical level, we will cease treatments on all but the primary treatment regime network and emergency response calls. Management of salt stock is important and options for reducing salt usage through reduced spread rates or the use of additives will be considered.”

Information about road closures is published on the council’s website www.powys.gov.uk
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