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Concern over grit supplies

PUBLISHED: 14:05 08 January 2010 | UPDATED: 16:07 03 July 2010

UNCERTAINTY has arisen over when Norfolk will be receiving extra supplies of grit to help clear the county's roads clear of snow and ice.

The county council warned today it was reviewing its road salting network after salt ordered for the county began to be diverted by the government to other parts of the country in the greatest need of new supplies.

UNCERTAINTY has arisen over when Norfolk will be receiving extra supplies of grit to help clear the county's roads clear of snow and ice.

The county council warned today it was reviewing its road salting network after salt ordered for the county began to be diverted by the government to other parts of the country in the greatest need of new supplies.

The government decision to invoke the so-called Salt Cell on Wednesday means that daily supplies pre-ordered for Norfolk are now being sent to other parts of the country.

The council will continue to salt 1,900 miles of Norfolk roads over the weekend, but staff had no idea when further supplies would be received and is keeping the situation under close review.

A further announcement is likely on Monday, but Adrian Gunson, cabinet member for planning and transportation, warned: “There is no doubt that by taking a precautionary approach and putting a long-term strategic agreement in place with Salt Union, Norfolk has so far continued to receive more reliable deliveries and has higher stocks of salt than many other parts of the country.

“That has meant that our crews have continued to salt 1,900 miles of our roads night and day since the cold snap began before Christmas, and while we have spent more than £1.2 million in the process, I think Norfolk residents have generally been very grateful for the tremendous and successful efforts made by our crews to keep the roads open in what have been truly exceptional circumstances.

“The government has now intervened at a national level to help councils whose position on salt stocks is not as healthy as our own and supplies earmarked for Norfolk are now being diverted to other areas. While this is clearly frustrating, I think we have to recognise this is an unprecedented situation and that other parts of the country are in a much worse situation than our own.

“The immediate effects of this are that we need to conserve the stocks that we have as much as possible and one way of doing this is following professional advice in mixing sand with the salt where snow has already settled on the road.”

There are seven salt domes around Norfolk that stock a total of 10,000 tonnes of salt ready for winter use.


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