Norfolk restocks on winter grit during heatwave

Despite Norfolk sweltering in a record October heatwave, the County Council is stocking up on nearly 20,000 tonnes of salt amid fears of another bitter winter.

While the county roasted in temperatures of 28C, forecasters were already warning of a colder than average November.

The restocking of seven salt storage domes and two reserve domes in Swaffham and Norwich will mean Norfolk has close to 20,000 tonnes of grit to tackle any icy conditions.

Last year the county was in the grip of ice and snow before the end of November, and the extreme weather lasted until the end of the year.

Norfolk was better placed than most counties thanks to the reserves stored at Swaffham and Norwich, and the County Council's long term contract with Salt Union which keeps stocks at above 9,165 tonnes, enough for at least 28 full gritting runs.

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The use of Safecote treated road salt also meant a 25% reduction in spreading rates so that each tonne of salt went further, and stocks lasted longer.

Graham Plant, cabinet member for planning and transportation, said: 'Last winter our gritting crews did a fantastic job keeping the priority network treated and useable throughout the worst of the weather.

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'It is not widely recognised that these crews are drawn from our normal daily road maintenance operations, yet they are out there in the evenings or early hours of the morning making sure roads are treated.

'In severe weather, especially heavy snow, they have to concentrate on the priority network of just over 2,000 miles so we are encouraging local communities to do what they can to help.'

To tackle treacherous ice away from the main gritting routes, town councils in Wells, Diss, Aylsham and Holt will salt pavements and roads.

Other local councils have bought grit bins which the county council fills so that people can treat trouble spots.

Cllr Plant added that there was no risk of people being sued if they cleared snow from outside their homes.

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