Herts Highways warn of more snow overnight as county staff try to source extra salt supplies

PUBLISHED: 17:22 05 February 2009 | UPDATED: 13:54 06 May 2010

Herts Highways gritting staff are bracing themselves for more severe weather conditions overnight and tomorrow (Friday) morning following weather forecasts of further snow hitting the district. Cllr Stuart Pile, Herts County Council s executive member fo

Herts Highways gritting staff are bracing themselves for more severe weather conditions overnight and tomorrow (Friday) morning following weather forecasts of further snow hitting the district.

Cllr Stuart Pile, Herts County Council's executive member for highways, transport and rural affairs, said: Herts has been hit hard by severe weather this week and it seems that there's to be little reprieve in the near future. We ask everyone for their continued patience while we deal with these conditions and, as always, to consider whether their journey is necessary. If you must go out, take great care on the roads and footways.

"We will continue to grit and plough the roads that are our highest priority -- the county's A and B roads, all bus routes, at least one road into and out of villages, industrial areas and shopping centres -- and will respond to conditions as they develop. We will be careful to strike a balance between keeping priority roads passable and conserving salt so that we can continue to keep gritting."

Cllr Pile raised the issue of salt supplies and added: "While we understand the need to keep motorways safe, there is little point in salting motorways if motorists are unable to use local roads to access them. It is undeniable that the very slow supply of salt is putting continuation of an effective winter service at risk across a wide area of south and east England.

"By Wednesday lunchtime, 4,000 tonnes of salt had been used on Hertfordshire's roads since 4pm on Sunday. We started the week with about 5,500 tonnes in stock and a further 6,200 on order. However, our supplier is rationing us to around 160 to 180 tonnes per day. 1,200 tonnes remain in stock, with another 180 tonnes expected to be delivered today. We could need to use 600 tonnes tomorrow on just the priority roads. While we still have some supplies they are lower than is comfortable."

He reported that officers from the county council and their partners, Amey Lafarge, were scouring the markets looking for alternative sources of supply and added: "While we do not want to get anyone's hopes up, we are following a number of positive leads for extra salt, both on our own and in partnership with other highways authorities. As soon as we have something definite to report, we will let the public know as we are aware that the current situation is a cause for concern.

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