Roads are at their most treacherous when the first fall of snow occurs and after it becomes compacted and refreezes overnight. This problem is exacerbated on roads that are not gritted prior to the initial snowfall.
At the close of November, many local authorities are still awaiting delivery of road salt to cope with the onset of the wintry weather feared over the coming months. Local Government Association economy and transport board chairman Councillor Peter Box revealed last week that the fact that councils were still waiting for salt deliveries was ‘going to make a challenging time of year even more difficult.’
However there was also good news as the LGA added that councils were making “unprecedented efforts” in preparation by stockpiling significantly more salt and purchasing many more gritting vehicles which are already in service. They have also been tasked with around the clock service to ensure that public and emergency services continue operating safely.
Contingencies include setting up arrangements with neighbouring areas to share supplies and importing further supplies from overseas should local councils stocks diminish significantly.
Online assistance is also planned with nearly 25% of councils in England and Wales using Twitter and 91% planning to provide regular updates via their websites.
The main question seems to be when will the planned quantities of salt ordered arrive and will it be in time to maintain motorist safety?