Not out of salts

THE gritters of Devon County Council have seen their busiest winter in a decade, with 14,000 tonnes of salt spread on the county's road network. Sub-zero temperatures and heavy snow has already seen the council use more salt than it would for an entire wi

THE gritters of Devon County Council have seen their busiest winter in a decade, with 14,000 tonnes of salt spread on the county's road network.Sub-zero temperatures and heavy snow has already seen the council use more salt than it would for an entire winter, which usually averages 10,000-12,000 tonnes.But it said salt stocks were still above 50 per cent, with 10,000 tonnes stockpiled at strategic locations and more supplies due next week to cover all eventualities.On Monday and Tuesday alone, 1,500 tonnes was used, with the entire fleet of 84 gritting lorries working throughout most of the day, pre-salting the major networks and keeping routes into smaller communities as clear as possible.Since the first salting on October 27, the 95 winter call outs have cost �750,000."This winter is proving exceptionally demanding," said council Leader Brian Greenslade."It's the coldest in years and that has thrown up challenges our staff are working hard to overcome. "The sheer volume of salt used to keep Devon's roads passable illustrates how our staff and those at South West Highways have been pulling out all the stops. "Their work often goes unrecognised and we thank them all for their sterling efforts so far. Salt stocks were replenished during the cold spell just before Christmas and that has stood us in good stead."Highway operations manager Chris Cranston added that difficult conditions were still expected on minor roads:"Drivers must never assume that a road has been salted and should continue to drive with extreme care," he said.


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