12 January 2010

Relatively dry weather last night resulted in just one salting trip for the fleet of gritting vehicles. This means Northamptonshire County Council is in a position to continue salting the priority routes in the county, as per the winter maintenance policy.

Strong representations have been made to the Government to secure more salt for Northamptonshire to maintain a full winter service. This is particularly important in view of the continuing adverse weather to ensure the priority road network and main footways remain usable.

The refilling of salt bins will continue and main shopping and pedestrianised areas will continue to receive treatment. With almost all of the 1,729 bins now refilled the council will continue with this service on a rolling basis and refills can be requested through Street Doctor – telephone number 0845 601 1113 or by visiting the council’s website at www.northamptonshire.gov.uk

A major factor in highway and footway deterioration is the weather and, yet again, the cold snap has increased the number of routes needing treatment. The colder it gets the more brittle road surfaces become and as water seeps into cracks and expands it freezes. The expanding ice puts pressure on the surface material and causes the roads to swell up and break apart, particularly in areas where there is a lot of traffic.

With weather conditions improving from tomorrow, the council will be starting to divert resources to catch up with the backlog of carriageway and footway defects. Crews will continue to be on standby in the event of more snow showers but will also be responding to reports and making these defects safe for the travelling public.

Light snow showers are expected in the early hours of the morning with some settling but this situation is not viewed as severe. Residual salt remains on much of the network and a decision will be made later this evening regarding the next salting run.

As the snow and ice does start to melt drivers are being urged to remain careful when driving, particularly on minor roads.