Gritting list: Salt shortage forces CCC to prioritise roads

NATIONAL salt shortages have forced Cambridgeshire County Council to grit only A roads and priority B roads as the cold snap continues across the country. With temperatures set to remain around the freezing mark until at least the end of th

NATALIE BOWYER

NATIONAL salt shortages have forced Cambridgeshire County Council to grit only A roads and priority B roads as the cold snap continues across the country.

With temperatures set to remain around the freezing mark until at least the end of the week, salt supplies are being diverted to local authorities that are on the verge of running out.

CCC started the winter with around 9,000 tonnes of rock salt - an increase of nearly 50 per cent on previous years - ensuring that its storage facilities were filled to capacity.

However, with supplies running low elsewhere in the country, the Government has launched a salt-rationing system, giving priority to authorities where stocks are running out.

With Cambridgeshire's salt deliveries being sent elsewhere, the county council has had to review its gritting operation.

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In line with neighbouring authorities, such as Bedfordshire, the county's gritters will now grit only A roads, a priority network of B routes, waterside roads and routes to hospitals.

CCC has said this policy, which came into force on Monday (January 11), will continue until sufficient salt supplies can be secured.

Mark Kemp, director of highways and access, said: "Like many local authorities across the country, we need to manage our rock salt stocks carefully, so that we can grit as much as possible.

"Nationally, a system is in place that means deliveries of rock salt are now going to more badly-hit authorities. This means we can no longer rely on those deliveries and have to prioritise the routes we do to make sure we have enough salt to keep people on the move while at the same time last until we get more stocks."

The Government has also ordered local authorities to cut the amount of rock salt they spread by 25 per cent to help conserve supplies.

On Monday, the county had about 800 tonnes of rock salt remaining after supplies expected to arrive over the weekend did not materialise.

The council said it was actively looking for new supplies.

Drivers are also being asked to take extra care and to remember that some roads that would previously have been gritted may now not be treated.

Mr Kemp added: "Road safety is paramount to us, which is why we are also making sure waterside roads are included in the revised runs.

"This is a difficult decision but, with only four or five days of gritting left, uncertainty of delivery and an uncertain weather forecast, we have to take these practical steps."

The gritting list:

The following roads are being prioritised:

Principal Roads

A10, A15, A141, A142, A505, A603, A605, A1101, A1096, A1123, A1134, A1198, A1301, A1303, A1304, A1307, A1309, A1421

B Roads

B645, B660, B671, B1039, B1040, B1041, B1042, B1043, B1044, B1046, B1047, B1048, B1049, B1050, B1052, B1061, B1063, B1084, B1085, B1090, B1093, B1094 B1095, B1096, B1098, B1099, B1100, B1101, B1102, B1103, B1104, B1165, B1166, B1169, B1187, B1368, B1381, B1382, B1411, B1441, B1428, B1514, B198, Huntingdon Ring Road.

Drains Roads

C35 Well End and Needham Bank, Friday Bridge - main drains

C67 Glasmoor Bank, Whittlesey

C71 Cock Bank, Whittlesey

C34 Twenty Foot Road, March

C85 Forty Foot Road, Benwick to Chatteris

C86 Mereside, Ramsey

C13 Marshalls Harold Bank, Parsons Drove

C307 (old A141) Chatteris to March

C309 Weasenham Lane, Wisbech

C313 Harecroft Road, Wisbech

C311 Norwich Road/Kirkgate, Wisbech

Road Grunty Fen Road, Witchford

Queen Adelaide Way, Ely

C36 March Riverside - parish of Christchurch - main river ( River Nene - old course )

Others

Hinchingbrooke Hospital link road, Huntingdon

A1 link to Hinchingbrooke Hospital via Buckden

Addenbrookes access road, Cambridge

Link road to Hospital Ely

* Former A10 through Ely and Littleport

* Former A1198 through Papworth

* Former A428 (Cambourne to Dry Drayton)

* High Street, Melbourn (former A10)

* London Road, High Street, Cambridge Road, Sawston

* Former A142 route through Soham

* Former A142 route through Fordham

* C173, 500m either side of the East Coast Mainline at Offord and Offord Mill

* C81 Langwood Hill Road, Chatteris, from its junction with the B1098 through to its junction with the A142.

The Highways Agency is responsible for trunk roads (M11, A14, A1(M), A1, A11, A47 and A428).

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