National salt shortage: Gloucestershire’s response
Gloucestershire County Council is taking action to protect its road network following the Government’s announcement yesterday that it will take control of all national salt supplies.
The Government is taking over control of all future salt deliveries through a national ‘salt cell’. This means all salt available will be distributed by the Government on a priority basis.
With other councils’ salt supplies are at crisis levels there are concerns that supplies destined for Gloucestershire may be diverted to other councils. With no let up in the cold conditions forecast for the next 8 to 10 days, the council is reviewing its operations on a daily basis and taking action to ensure its salt supplies will last throughout this period.
Throughout the working week we have continued gritting the entire primary and secondary road network to help people get to work. The council is taking extra precautions to conserve its remaining supply. During this weekend, A roads and some B roads – that carry 75% of county’s traffic – will continue to be salted as required. Secondary routes will not be gritted to conserve stocks.
This means from Saturday morning motorists are being warned that roads that were previously gritted may now be untreated. The full list of treated roads is below and on the County Council website. Whether roads are gritted or not, given the weather conditions, motorists need to be aware that black ice can develop. Snow ploughs will also be out within each district clearing the way for vehicles.
This level of gritting is likely to continue into next week but the situation will be constantly monitored and reviewed if more salt stocks become available. Taking this precaution will aim to ensure the salt stocks last until the weather changes, or until more can be delivered. This follows a similar decision from other councils such as Hampshire to reduce the routes it grits.
Even with no further snow, temperatures of down to -8 degrees are predicted so the council will need to grit the roads to prevent ice from forming. When the temperatures go below -5 degrees, salt is less effective so drivers are still urged to take extra care on the roads.
Before the winter, the council increased its salt stocks by 53% to 7,500 tonnes and a new snow dome which will hold 2,450tonnes is being built in the Cotswolds. In the last two weeks alone we have used over 6,000 tonnes of salt – compared to 8,000 to 10,000 during the entirety of a normal winter.
Cllr Stan Waddington, cabinet member for environment, said: “The Government can give us no guarantees about when Gloucestershire will get its next salt delivery. There are lots of councils who are much worse off than Gloucestershire and they are likely to get priority. “We have to make sure we have enough to last until the weather changes and we can’t guarantee deliveries from now on. As more supplies come in, we can increase the amount of roads we grit.
“The advice remains the same to motorists – take extreme care and make essential journeys only.”
Primary Strategic Network being gritted from now on:
Road No. Description
A417 Gloucester to M50
A48 A40 to southern county border (Chepstow)
A4136 West county border (Monmouth) to A40
B4228 A4136 to Chepstow via Coleford
B4234 A4136 to Lydney
A4151 Through Cinderford to A48
B4215 A40 to Newent
B4221 Newent to M50
B4226 Cinderford to Coleford
A466 West border (Monmouth) to Bigsweir
Road No. Description
A38 Gloucester to South Gloucestershire border
A38 Gloucester to Worcestershire border
A438 Ashchurch, Tewkesbury to M5
A419 Stroud to M5
A419 Stroud to Cirencester
A46 Stroud to Cheltenham
A46 Stroud to South Gloucestershire border
A4019 A38 to Cheltenham
A4135 A46 via Dursley to A38
Various Gloucester City/Cheltenham Borough (as existing published Key Routes)
A435 Cheltenham to A46
A4173 Pitchcombe to Gloucester
B4058 Wotton-Under-Edge towards M5
B4632 Cheltenham to Winchcombe
Road No. Description
A429 Wilshire border to Worcestershire border
A40 Oxfordshire border to Cheltenham
A435 Cirencester to Cheltenham
A436 Air Balloon Roundabout to A40 (including A436 spur at Andoversford)
A436 A40 Andoversford to Bourton-on-the-Water
A433 South of Cirencester through Tetbury to A46 and Dunkirk
A4135/B4014 Wiltshire border through Tetbury to A46 Calcot Crossroads
A4135 A46 Calcot Crossroads to Dursley
A46 South Gloucestershire border to Stroud
A419 Cirencester to Stroud
A417 Cirencester to Lechlade
A361 Lechlade to Oxfordshire border
A424 Oxfordshire boundary to A44 at Troopers Lodge
A44 Warwickshire border (Fish Hill) through Moreton in Marsh to Oxfordshire border
A436 Stow in the Wold to Oxfordshire border
Issued by Gloucestershire County Council’s media team 01452 425226
Head of Communications and Public Affairs
Tel: +44 01452 425090