Flintshire road fears as salt supplies 'critically low'

Reporter:

Lois Hough

THERE are fears today over the safety of Flintshire’s roads after council members were told salt supplies were “critically low”.

On Friday just 1,000 tonnes of salt were left leaving just enough for three more runs of the county’s roads.

In an email to members on Friday environment director Carl Longland, said: “With the uncertainty of supplies and no confirmation that we will receive any over the weekend, there is only sufficient salt to carry out three precautionary salting runs of our priority network.

“Flintshire’s priority road network includes trunk roads, principal A roads, B roads, major distributor roads on estates, the majority of bus routes and roads connecting rural villages to town and other villages.”

The Salt Cell, a national committee including salt suppliers, the Department for Transport and the Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA) has taken over the allocation of salt from private suppliers.

Saltney councillor Klaus Armstrong-Braun said: “No matter how much we scream and shout about this, it is not the council’s responsibility any more.

“Now it is up the UK Government. What grit we do have is being used for Government roads, like A and B roads. People are using bulldog spirit to come together and pull through this.”

In his email Mr Longland said grit and limestone chippings should now be used on roads where salt supplies were dwindling. He also suggested that all roads be treated once a night instead of twice, unless temperatures drop below 5C.

A spokesman for Flintshire council said yesterday: “Our salt stock levels are critically low and we are reporting daily to the government team who are allocating salt deliveries on a priority basis.

“Ice on minor roads and footpaths is generally being treated with chippings and sharp sand to help traction and minimise the risk of slipping.

“Members of the public are asked to only drive if the journey is essential and to take extreme caution on all routes, particularly on the minor roads which have not been treated.

“While the slightly warmer temperatures are providing some slight thawing conditions in places, more sub-zero temperatures are forecast tonight and for the remainder of the week.”

See full story in the Leader

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