Gritting

About rock salt

Grit is the generic term for 'rock salt' and it helps keep roads safe by preventing them becoming icy. It works by lowering the temperature at which water freezes. It relies on pedestrian movement on pavements or the action of vehicle tyres to spread it over the road, but it can actually get too cold for the salt to work. Below -5 degrees centigrade, the effectiveness of grit is reduced and pavements/roads may still freeze.

Rain or snow can wash the salt away leaving the area prone to re-icing. Salting ideally needs to take place after rain but before the water freezes. Where this is not possible, we may treat the same roads more than once on the same day.

Rock salt is stored at our Whitley Depot in a salt barn that has an operating capacity of 4,000 tonnes. This is filled to capacity every October.

Each full treatment uses 50 tonnes on average. During an average winter, we use between 2,000 and 2,500 tonnes. With 4,000 tonnes in stock, we are well prepared for even a severe winter. In addition, we have mutual aid agreements with surrounding local authorities and can also call on Government stockpiles dotted around the country in extreme cases.

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