Surrey amasses 16,000 tons of salt to keep roads moving in case of arctic blast (From Redhill And Reigate Life)
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Surrey amasses 16,000 tons of salt to keep roads moving in case of arctic blast
2:40pm Wednesday 17th October 2012 in News
Highways chiefs have swelled Surrey's stocks of salt to 16,000 tons ahead of this winter.
Surrey County Council said the stockpile is double the salt needed in an average winter and 60% more than was used to keep the county moving last winter.
It said the huge heap is also more than enough to see Surrey through a winter similar to that which gripped Britain in 2010 to 2011, when ice and snow during the worst weather for more than 30 years paralysed parts of the road network.
John Furey, Surrey County Council’s cabinet member for transport and environment, said: “We have more than enough salt to see us through an average winter, with enough spare to deal with bouts of very severe weather.”
He said: “On top of this, our stocks will be replenished as we use them, which all adds up to Surrey being better prepared than ever to tackle ice and snow this winter.”
Coun Furey said: “We’ll be working around the clock to keep Surrey moving, but the reality is we can’t treat every road in Surrey. “This is why we’re working with farmers, district and borough councils, and asking residents to play their part in helping to tackle ice and snow.”
Last winter the county council treated an extra 107 miles of road.
That will continue this winter. And the council said a review of gritting routes has led to improvements which mean the council’s 39 gritting lorries can spend more time treating roads and less time travelling to and from depots to pick up salt.
More than 50 farmers, a quad bike and an all-terrain vehicle will form part of Surrey's fight against ice and snow this winter.
The county council has revealed the technology which will be at the forefront of the effort to keep the county's roads free and moving in the face of an arctic blast.
Gritters equipped with Global Positioning System (GPS) trackers, thermal mapping of salting routes and smart grit bins will also be key to the council's highways plans.
The use of GPS will allow the council to monitor the exact location of its fleet of 39 gritting lorries, featuring 16 new vehicles, while providing up-to-date information on which roads have been gritted.
The gritters will be ready to take action 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They will be supported by a quad bike, an all-terrain vehicle and an army of 51 farmers equipped with spreaders and ploughs.
Thermal maps of all Surrey’s salting routes will show which roads are more at risk of icing up due to their topography, traffic use and construction materials. The decision to treat roads will be based on this, as well as Surrey-specific weather forecasts and ice prediction systems using information from roadside weather stations.