Mild winter lowers grit expectations for Norfolk County Council

One of the Norfolk County Highways gritter lorries at the salt dome at the depot at Ketteringham. Pi

One of the Norfolk County Highways gritter lorries at the salt dome at the depot at Ketteringham. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2015

The mild winter disappointed children hoping for snow, but it brought 'significant savings' for Norfolk County Council - because gritters went out far less than was budgeted for.

The mild winter disappointed children hoping for snow, but it brought 'significant savings' for Norfolk County Council - because gritters went out far less than was budgeted for.

The council budgeted for grit teams to treat county roads between 80 and 90 times, but with a couple of weeks before the gritting season ends, they have been out on 56 occasions.

Over the same period last year, they went out 70 times, in 2013/14 it was 65 and in 2012/13 159 times.

So far just over 12,500 tonnes of the salt stock of 17,000 tonnes - stored in seven domes around the county and brought from Cheshire under a private finance initiative deal - has been used.


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A council spokeswoman said that meant money had been saved, although she said it was too early to put a figure on how much.

She said: 'We budgeted for around 80-90 gritting actions in the 2015/16 season so we are on course to make a substantial saving. Once the season is over, this figure will be reported to councillors.'

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Toby Coke, chairman of Norfolk County Council's environment, development and transport committee, said: 'With 49 gritting routes covering more than 2,000 miles of Norfolk's roads, each gritting season takes a great deal of planning and preparation.

'We have had a mild winter, which is extremely welcome given the pressure on the council's finances.

'We may not have needed them as much this winter as in previous years but around 100 staff have still been involved in a great team effort, many of them on standby in case they're needed from the middle of October to mid-April and sometimes working through the night. My thanks to them for the crucial work they do. It's very much appreciated.'

• Do you have a story about a local council? Call reporter Dan Grimmer on 01603 772375 or email dan.grimmer@archant.co.uk

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