Some 4,000 tonnes of salt were used in Lincolnshire this weekend, as grittters treated roads around the clock and temperatures remained below freezing.
At a cost of £4.4 million, a team of 43 gritters service 1,869 miles of A and B roads, 35% of Lincolnshire’s roads and slightly above government guidelines.
It would cost the County Council £12 million to grit all roads and side streets.
The gritting team is despatched when temperatures reach one degree and are set to drop lower, based on data from the Met Office and the county’s 10 weather stations.
Despite the gritting efforts, 37 road traffic collisions were reported by Lincolnshire Police over the weekend and Executive Member for Highways and Transportation, Councillor William Webb, advised motorists to be cautious.
“We’d always urge motorists to drive to the conditions and remember that while salt can help, it’s not a cure. Once temperatures fall below minus seven degrees, the salt becomes far less effective,” said Webb.
The council also explained that whilst some A and B roads may appear not to have been treated, the high purity of the salt used sometimes makes it difficult to see; to be at its most effective it needs traffic to mix up the salt and snow to form a brine.
People can also take measures to clear pavements and walkways and you can request a council provided grit bin for your area.
Each request is dealt with on its own merits, with a scoring system in place to assess whether there is a good enough case for its provision.
The council is keen to dispel the urban myth that you can be held liable if someone falls or is injured on the area you cleared and assure you are unlikely to be sued, in accordance with the 2010 Snow Code.
Key advice is that substitutes to salt can be sand, ash or even cat litter but under no circumstances should you pour water on ice or snow.
Over the winter period so far, Lincolnshire County Council used 15,000 tonnes of its 42,000 tonne stock pile, with last year’s total at 28,000 tonnes and the year before 34,000 tonnes.