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Lesmahagow Community Council

Roads & Gritting Info from SLC

Added on 11 January 2010


South Lanarkshire's residents and drivers are being urged to use extreme care over the next few days during the extreme cold snap.

In an update of the present situation, Chair of South Lanarkshire Council's Enterprise Resources Committee, Councillor Chris Thompson, said: "We are currently experiencing the worst winter weather for almost 50 years.

"On a positive note, at present we are continuing to grit all precautionary gritting routes twice a day. Precautionary routes are main routes which make up 60% of the road network. We are using reduced concentrations of salt in an effort to make it go further.

"We have also taken the decision to start spreading sand on a number of our main town centre footpaths.

"Community service squads will also be clearing the areas around some of our sheltered housing complexes, helping some of the most vulnerable members of our society.

"However, the challenges cannot be underestimated and it has been clear for the last week or so that the lack of salt will restrict our gritting operations.

"We currently have around 2100 tonnes of salt in our stocks, which means if we grit at a maximum we would only have enough for three or four days.

"Our salt supplier is contractually obliged to provide all the salt we require but is currently struggling to cope with the demand as almost every local authority throughout the UK is looking for supplies of salt.

"Emergency arrangements have now been implemented by the UK government to direct salt supplies to those authorities in greatest need. We will continue to pursue all potential sources of salt supply.

"Current arrangements continue to be reviewed daily taking into account long range forecasts, remaining salt stockpiles, rates of salt use, additional salt supplies secured and the likelihood of securing further salt supplies.

"I would ask that everyone:
drives slowly and with extreme care;
is aware that many roads will not be gritted;
is aware that roads which are gritted will have lower than usual salt concentrations with an increased risk of icing;
is aware that the road salt becomes less effective at very low temperatures and therefore there is a significant risk that ice will form on roads which have been gritted;
takes great care on icy footways.

"We can only apologise for the obvious difficulties people are experiencing but it should be remembered that this type of continued freezing cold weather is simply unprecedented."

For roads information across Scotland please go to Traffic Scotland (this link will open in a new window) website.