Skip to main content

Roads: Snow and Ice

Volume 506: debated on Monday 22 February 2010

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport whether his Department has provided guidance to local authorities on (1) which buildings or public services should be prioritised for maintenance of access to them by salting or gritting during adverse winter weather conditions; (316887)

(2) the priority to be given to gritting pavements during severe weather conditions.

Winter service, including decisions about the relative priority of salting carriageways and footways or the relative priority of ensuring access to services and buildings, is a matter for each local highway authority.

Advice on developing and operating a winter service strategy is included in the UK Roads Liaison Group’s code of practice for highways maintenance management, “Well-maintained Highways”.

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport how much his Department spent on road (a) salt and (b) grit in each of the last 12 years. (316890)

The Highways Agency uses salt for the treatment of its network during winter and does not use grit.

The Highways Agency’s routine and winter service is delivered by its contracted service providers. The delivery of these services, including the purchase of rock salt, is paid for within lump sum payments covering a range of defined activities. The individual amount specifically spent on the purchase of road-salt is not readily discernable from the service delivery lump sum payments and cannot therefore be provided.

Annual salt usage for the strategic road network varies greatly according to the weather faced, typically ranging 150,000 to 300,000 tonnes per annum, at an average cost from domestic salt suppliers of approximately £20 to £25 per tonne.

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Peterborough of 2 February 2010, Official Report, column 178W, on roads: salt, how many tonnes of road salt (a) each local authority and (b) the Highways Agency held at the latest date for which information is available. (317115)

An updated table has been placed in the Libraries of the House, which shows how many tonnes of salt local authorities estimate they have available, according to the local authority salt audit returns the Department for Transport had received at 10.00 am on 8 February.