Councils are stockpiling thousands of tonnes of extra road salt this year in case of another severe winter, it has been revealed.
Salt orders have increased to 1.4 million tonnes, the Local Government Association (LGA) said.
The association said local authorities in England and Wales aimed to have more salt in stock for the start of October than the total amount used throughout the cold spell last year.
On average, councils each aimed to have 1,500 tonnes more salt at the ready to treat roads and pavements than they did at the start of October 2010.
More than half of councils have upped their salt stock levels, with virtually all authorities at least maintaining the same amount as last year.
The LGA said the figures suggested that councils will be going into the winter with an estimated 1.4 million tonnes of salt, once they have received all of their deliveries.
Four per cent of authorities are still waiting to receive some of the salt they ordered.
LGA economy and transport chairman, Councillor Peter Box, said: "Whatever surprises the weather may have in store for us this winter, motorists can count on council highways teams being better prepared than ever before to keep disruption to a minimum.
"Local authorities have been hard at work making preparations for this winter ever since the end of the last one and keeping the roads open will be our number one priority.
"This year councils have more salt and better plans in place to make it go further while even more volunteers and community groups have been lined up to help with the great gritting effort."