12 January 2010

Northamptonshire County Council is continuing to continuing to salt its Priority P1 and P2 network across the county as per the winter maintenance policy.

The council has been monitoring stock levels, which are now reaching critical levels in light of the Government’s decision to take over the salt supplies. Northamptonshire has not received any deliveries of salt for six days now and there is nothing on the latest forward delivery programme issued by the Government for the area.

With no commitment of salt deliveries in the foreseeable future the council now has to work on a “worst case scenario” and, disappointingly, in the next 24 hours it will have to consider reducing the amount of the network gritted.

The council is currently complying with the Government’s request to reduce the quantity of salt used by 25 per cent and as such mixing the salt with sand.

However, the county council will continue with its programme of refilling grit bins and gritting footways in the main shopping and pedestrianised areas. In addition, schools in the county have been given some supplies of salt and those schools which have GCSE exams have been given help to clear footways.

Other requests for gritting and supplies will be considered on a priority needs basis. The council will also continue to supply grit to districts and boroughs, as has been done, when requested and whenever possible.

The temperatures over the next few days will result in freeze/thaw conditions and the public are urged to take extra care.

In addition, due to the effect the severe weather is having on the condition of the network, available resources are being diverted to carry out emergency repairs of the road surface. In view of the increase in calls reporting these issues, it will take some time to address all of the defects.

This evening the weather is expected to remain dry, with the occasional sleet or light snow shower. Temperatures will remain around freezing and the fleet will be carrying out a salting treatment on the highways at 7:00pm.