Councils bolster winter salt stocks
Councils have stockpiled more road salt than was used through all of last winter.
Town halls in England and Wales have about 1.4 million tonnes of salt to hand, the Local Government Association (LGA) said.
A total of 51% of councils have more salt for the start of this winter than they had for the start of winter 2010/11, with 48% aiming to have the same amount.
On average, each council has about 4,900 tonnes of salt in stock - about 1,500 tonnes more than this time last year.
Last winter councils each spread on average 4,000 tonnes of salt, which was about three-quarters of their total stocked throughout the season.
Nearly a third of councils have invested in new gritters and 99% of councils will be updating their websites regularly about the state of gritting.
The LGA said councils across England and Wales had invested in new fleets of GPS-tracked gritting trucks, snow ploughs and specialist vehicles for narrow and hilly streets. Some are also using new types of salt and methods of spreading it to make supplies last longer.
Thousands of new grit bins have been placed in estates and side streets, residents have been given their own bags of salt along with salt spreaders in some neighbourhoods, and arrangements have been made with parish councils, farmers and community groups to grit hard-to-reach areas.
Councillor Peter Box, chairman of the LGA's economy and transport board, said: "Councils have got more salt this year along with better plans to use it and new technology to make it go further.
"We're well prepared to keep roads safe and traffic moving, whatever the weather throws at us."