As it has been confirmed that Government is nationally monitoring salt suppliers and managing which areas....
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Gritting and Salt Stock Update: Friday 8 January

Posted on January 8, 2010

This article was published in January 2010. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Central BedfordshireAs it has been confirmed that Government is nationally monitoring salt suppliers and managing which areas are of the highest priority to receive salt deliveries first, we are still on reduced gritting runs and are currently only able to salt the A and B roads.

Due to the continuing icy conditions and with more snow forecast for the weekend, Bedfordshire Highways today, 8 January, will continue to carry out 'spot gritting' on badly affected areas on A and B roads, and crews will also be manually treating footways and pedestrian areas in town centres.

Although we sent five lorries to our supplier to collect salt at the beginning of the week and also received four salt deliveries from our suppliers on Wednesday, we are still forced to reduce our gritting runs to just A and B roads, due to a national demand for salt. We currently have approximately 400 tonnes of salt in stock which is enough for around roughly nine more runs on the A and B network.

With such a huge demand for salt throughout the country we are unsure when any of our 3000 tonnes, which is currently on order, will be delivered, so we are monitoring both our salt stocks and the weather forecast closely throughout the next few days, and we hope a normal service will be resumed as soon as possible.

Councillor David McVicar, Central Bedfordshire Council's Portfolio Holder for Safer and Stronger Communities, said: "We appreciate road conditions are going to continue to worsen as the icy conditions, the coldest spell in 15 years, is set to continue. I would like to reassure road users that Bedfordshire Highways crews are working round the clock to ensure they can keep traffic moving as much as possible on the network, but regrettably have been forced to limit gritting runs to just A and B roads.

"Nationally there is a demand in salt so our neighbouring authorities are also in a similar situation. We will be attending badly affected areas with our gritters, and manually salting pedestrian areas in town centres and replenishing salt bins as much as possible. People really do need to take extra care on the roads and footways over the weekend and please follow our safety advice for when driving in snow, fog and ice."

Further gritting information will be issued throughout the day.

Please visit our website homepage for further updates on all services which have been affected by the snow.

Visit for further travel information on major routes and motorways.

Visit the met office for the latest forecast at

Safe driving information for motorists:

Advice around gritters:

  • Advice states to take care around gritters
  • Don't be tempted to overtake
  • Slow down
  • It can take 10 times longer to stop in snowy or icy conditions, so allow extra room
  • Winter Gritting is a 24 hour operation.

Check your vehicles for:

  • Correct tyre tread depths and pressures. Don't forget the spare!
  • Lights that are working and are clean
  • The correct level of antifreeze. A garage can check this for you
  • Wiper blades that are in good condition
  • A windscreen washer bottle that contains an additive to prevent freezing
  • A battery that is in good condition. Winter driving will make extra demands on your battery

Before driving off:

  • Check the weather conditions both for your outward journey and any return
  • Plan your route and leave in plenty of time. Even consider whether your journey is essential


  • Speed kills. Do not travel too fast. Cut your speed in possible icy conditions.
  • It is far safer to travel a little further on a salted road than to use untreated roads
  • Keep your distance - it takes much longer to stop in ice and snow than normal conditions
  • Try to anticipate the actions of other drivers
  • Avoid harsh acceleration, steering or braking
  • Keep in as high as gear as possible
  • Allow more time for your journey
  • Consider whether your journey is necessary

And finally...

  • It is down to the road user to drive according to the prevailing conditions

Source: Central Bedfordshire News Release, 8th January 2010

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