Councils better prepared than ever for Winter

Extra salt, new gritters, more salt bins, snow wardens and Gritter Twitter – latest research from highways chiefs shows councils are better prepared than ever to deal with winter weather.

As temperatures plummet and gritters hit the nation's roads, the Local Government Association's annual Winter Readiness Survey, published today, shows town halls have stockpiled about 1.4 million tonnes of salt – more than was used through all of last winter.

Councils across England and Wales have invested in new fleets of GPS-tracked gritting trucks, snow ploughs and specialist vehicles for narrow and hilly streets. Some are also using new types of salt and methods of spreading it to make supplies last longer.

Thousands of new grit bins have been placed in estates and side streets, residents have been given their own bags of salt along with salt spreaders in some neighbourhoods, and arrangements have been made with parish councils, farmers and community groups to grit hard-to-reach areas.