Highways chiefs ready for the worst

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HIGHWAYS chiefs responsible for a 5,000-mile network of roads across England’s largest county have maintained they are fully prepared to cope with prolonged icy blasts over the winter months.

North Yorkshire County Council confirmed it has 50,000 tonnes of salt stockpiled to ensure roads remain gritted and open during the winter under a £7.1m maintenance budget. Many minor roads and pavements were left untreated during the severe winters of recent years as councils in the region used critically low salt stocks to keep only major routes safe.

The council’s executive member for highways, Coun Gareth Dadd, said: “North Yorkshire’s highways network is vast and keeping the network open and on the move throughout the worst of the winter weather is a complex and expensive operation. Nevertheless, winter maintenance is a top priority for the county council and once again we are well prepared for snow and icy conditions.”

The council has invested in renewing seven trailer gritters and 28 new snowploughs. The county has a fleet of 93 gritters, five snowblowers and can call on the services of more than 120 snowplough contractors when conditions become severe.