Preparations get under way for winter

PUBLISHED: 15:03 25 October 2012


Salt stocks at full capacity.

Salt stocks are high and gritters are ready for action in Devon as preparations for winter get under way, Devon County Council has confirmed.

The county council has reassured members of the public that it is ready for winter and that salt stocks are at full capacity with around 25,000 tonnes ready to be used.

And more than 3,000 grit bins are being checked and re-filled.

The council also has a network of 265 volunteer snow wardens that have signed up to the initiative – more than 60 per cent of towns and parishes have signed up.

Councillor Stuart Hughes, cabinet member for highways and transportation, said: “We are as prepared as we can be in the event of severe weather, with salt levels fully stocked and our fleet of gritters on standby should they be needed.

“The snow warden scheme has been received extremely positively by communities over the past 12 months and it is enabling us to work more closely with those towns and parishes involved.”

Last year around 11,000 tonnes of salt was used to treat Devon’s roads, which was less than the previous three harsh winters.

The most severe of which saw nearly 30,000 tonnes of salt used in Devon in 2009/10.

A fleet of 74 gritters are also on standby to grit primary and secondary salting routes and there are 12 new tractors with snow ploughs, which will be available from November to assist with any snow clearance .

The council has released the following advice to ensure residents in the county stay safe:

• Avoid overnight travel unless absolutely essential as roads will always be more hazardous at night with less traffic and colder temperatures

• Never assume a road has been salted. Remember that showers or rain will wash salt off roads leaving them prone to ice and, in extreme cold, even salting will not stop ice from forming

• Allow additional time for your journey and reduce your speed

• Drive with care and according to the conditions

• If you have vulnerable or elderly neighbours, find out how they could be helped through cold spells

• Check whether forecasts

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