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Sun November 01 2020

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Councils step up efforts to keep roads clear

1 Dec 10 The Local Government Association has defended the efforts of councils to keep roads clear in the snow, saying that they have made unprecedented efforts to prepare for the winter despite cuts to their road maintenance budgets.

However, many local authorities are still waiting for suppliers to deliver thousands of tonnes of grit, the LGA said

The association said that councils have stockpiled significantly more stocks of salt than in previous years and nearly half of authorities have bought new gritters since last winter to ensure they have the most up-to-date specialist machinery.

With snow covering much of the country this week, local authority leaders say that councils have made the most thorough preparations ever to deal with severe weather this winter.

A fleet of more than 3,300 gritters has been mobilised to keep Britain’s roads moving.

Councils have also recruited teams of ‘snow patrol’ volunteers who will be equipped with salt and shovels to ensure pavements are kept safe.

An LGA survey reveals that 48% of councils have bought new gritting machinery in the past year. Where gritters had been purchased, many councils were replacing old vehicles (78%) or increasing the variety of specialist machinery they have (29%). 

Local authorities have ordered in an estimated 1.2m tonnes of salt in readiness for the winter – 33% more than last year.   

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MPU

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