Kirklees build grit mountain for Big Freeze

COUNCIL chiefs in Kirklees are preparing for a repeat of last winter’s Big Freeze.
The council has already bought in 25,000 tonnes of grit, more than four times the 6,000 tonnes recommended by the Government.
In January and February with the district gripped by freezing temperatures and the worst snowfall in 30 years Kirklees ran low on grit.
Only main roads were treated and grit bins were left empty.
Salt stocks nationally were rationed by the Government but this year Kirklees has got in ahead of other local authorities to buy at keen ‘outofseason’ prices.
A council spokesman said Kirklees had 25,000 tonnes of rock salt in stock and said the authority had “worked very hard though the summer...to avoid being in a similar predicament to last winter.
“As well as getting ahead of the queue and securing increased stocks of rock salt at very competitive prices, we have been working with our West Yorkshire partners to establish a greater combined resilience in salt stores across the region.”
The council is also repairing and renewing grit bins in areas that are hardest hit by ice and snow.
The bins will be filled in time for winter and the spokesman added: “We would like to remind the public that the rock salt in these bins is for use on the public highway and pavements and not on private property.”
The council grits 60 per cent of the road network in Kirklees when  severe weather warnings are given.
“This represents over 700 miles of road that can be treated within two hours of starting to grit, more than the distance from Edinburgh to London and back,” said the spokesman.
Meanwhile, the council continues to repair damage to the roads caused by last winter’s harsh conditions. More than 20,000 potholes have been filled at a cost so far of £3.5 million.
The spokesman added: “The council is still dealing with reported potholes which just demonstrates the extent of the damage caused throughout the district by the severe weather.
“The council will continue to carry out this work to make sure that the roads are as safe as possible.” Potholes can be reported on 0800 731 8765.

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