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Roads: Snow and Ice

Volume 503: debated on Wednesday 13 January 2010

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of provision of grit and salt to treat roads and pavements during very cold weather periods; and what the sources are of salt used for such road treatments. (309987)

The Government have convened a group called the ‘Salt Cell’, bringing together the Department for Transport, the devolved Administrations (Scotland and Wales), the Highways Agency, the Local Government Association (LGA), County Surveyors Society, Met Office, the Department for Communities and Local Government and the Cabinet Office.

The aim of the Salt Cell is to provide advice to suppliers on the most effective distribution of available salt supplies in order to minimise the risk to public safety. The Salt Cell is continuously gathering and assessing salt stock and resilience levels and is working hard to ensure the delivery of salt goes to where it is needed most.

There are three significant salt mines within the UK. There are also three major salt merchants that import salt as well as supply UK produced salt. There are other salt merchants and businesses which supply relatively small quantities of salt.

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport on what date the Salt Cell became operational. (310553)

The Salt Cell became operational on the 6 January 2010 in order to respond to the current severe weather conditions.