04/01/2010

Ceredigion saving its salt

Cyngor Sir Ceredigion has announced it will prioritise keeping the county's primary road network open over the coming days and will not be salting minor roads at all.

A spokesperson for Ceredigion County Council explained,
"Before each winter, stockpiles of salt totalling 5,750 tonnes are accumulated and stored at the two Ceredigion Depots located near Llandysul and at Aberystwyth. We currently have 1,500 tonnes remaining but it is important to conserve those stocks as very many areas of the UK have much less stocks remaining and may need to be re-stocked before we do”.

The Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways, Ray Quant, said,
“At this time we have approximately enough salt to see out the week should the cold weather continue and we are unable to obtain further salt supplies. To conserve salt supplies to concentrate on the primary routes we have stopped salting secondary routes.

“There are seven local authorities in a worse position than Ceredigion in terms of salt stocks and therefore it is anticipated that the Assembly may reintroduce ‘Salt Cell’ this week, where they co-ordinate the supply of salt to and between Local Authorities.. The overall situation for the wider UK is gloomier for some authorities recently hit by the heavy snow falls.”

One farmer last week had to pour away 2000 litres of milk and expects to have to do the same again because the milk tanker is unable to travel on an un-gritted unclassified road.

3 comments:

  1. DIY salt bins were re-filled with 90% sand yesterday.

    Be interesting to get an informed legal position on the liability when a death occurs which was preventable and where the buck stops.

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  2. Not an answer to the above but additional comment received today from the Council's Director of Highways,
    "The national picture is regrettably overriding the local need; we had our salt barns 95% full before Xmas with another 1000 tonnes promised to be delivered before the break. Extreme weather elsewhere meant that the 1000 tonnes did not materialize and that now Ceredigion faces major difficulties like many other Counties. (Carmarthenshire and Powys e.g. stopped gritting their non-primary routes before us).

    "We are doing our utmost to secure additional salt supplies before the end of the week and will endeavor to reach all our rural communities as soon as is practically possible. It is not a matter of identifying additional monies; it is that of getting hold of salt at a time when other UK Councils are similarly needy."

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  3. Here's the latest update from Ray Quant, the Council's Cabinet Member for Highways, received 10pm Wednesday night:
    "No doubt we have all heard the news that the weather conditions are being classed as the worse for 30 years. Almost every local authority in mainland Britain is worried about salt supplies. Up until yesterday in the main we had freezing temperatures which resulted in icy roads conditions, which remains severe on many of our secondary roads. Within the past 24 hours in many parts of the county we have moved into a snow condition and we have now have snow ploughs fitted on the gritting lorries and we have been out ploughing.

    Our salt stocks remain very low and unless we receive resupplies soon then it could well become critical. WAG is well aware of our situation. At the time of typing this we have approx 680 tons of salt in stock but we may use up to 200 tons of that throughout the night and into the morning. We are expecting two snow falls in many areas, one at 2300 hrs and another at 0300 hrs, so the snow ploughs will be out in force dealing with the problem. We were expecting two salt deliveries today but none of them materialised but all being well we have been guaranteed at least 100 tons tomorrow (Thurs)

    One final piece of information. In the event of their being a need for urgent medical appointments such as dialysis or other urgent medical attention, a system has been established whereby the local GP can contact the Health Board who if they consider it a medical emergency will contact our Duty Officer when we will prioritise the request. We have already dealt with one patient under this procedure.

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