Councils save a mint thanks to true grit

CHRIS BISHOP Councils across the region are saving hundreds of thousands of pounds by not having to grit the roads, it emerged last night.

CHRIS BISHOP

Councils across the region are saving hundreds of thousands of pounds by not having to grit the roads, it emerged last night.

A milder than average start to the winter has kept gritting lorries confined to base, with the vehicles being needed on far fewer occasions than in recent winters.

With mild weather expected to continue until the end of the month, authorities like Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire are saving up to £25,000 a night on the average cost of providing a gritting run.

A Norfolk County Council spokesman said: "We've been out about 15 times, which is about half what we'd expect and about half what we'd experienced a year ago.

"If you multiply that by £25,000, which is the cost of a gritting run, you get about £375,000 - by this time last year we would have spent double that.

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"While the forecasts don't say it at the moment, it's still possible to have a prolonged period of serious weather right through until early March."

Money saved by councils can not be channelled into other services.

Suffolk County Council and Cambridgeshire County Council both said their gritters had been out on 12 occasions.