Lincolnshire

County council overspent on salt budget to tackle tough winter

More than double the amount of salt was used to grit Lincolnshire’s roads this winter compared with last year, leading to an overspend of the county council’s budget.

In a report expected to go before Lincolnshire County Council’s Highways and Transport Committee, the authority said this past winter was a significant challenge.

So far, the authority has used 37,311 tonnes of salt to grit the roads compared with 13,374 used in 2016/17.

As a result, 10,000 tonnes have been purchased to go on top of the current stock of 7,336 in order to keep the authority at a minimum standard.

Councillor Richard Davies, executive councillor for highways and transport, said it was important that the council acted in order to keep the county moving.

He said: ”Even before the Beast from the East hit, this had been one of the most difficult winters we’ve had to deal with for some time.

“We’ve had to use more than twice as much salt as last year and carry out far more gritting runs than usual in order to keep Lincolnshire moving.

“As a result, we have gone over budget, but, fortunately, the last few winters were relatively quiet, so we were able to put aside a severe weather fund to help cover those extra costs.

“However, even using this money, we’re still likely to be overspent and that is something the council will need to look at later in the year as part of its usual budgetary process.”

More than 4,000 tonnes of salt at a cost of £270,000 was used by the county council to tackle the Beast from the East.

A total of 4,884 tonnes of salt was used in one week when the adverse weather hit on February 26.

612 routes were treated across the county which amounted to around 14 runs for the council’s gritters.

The council said that gritter drivers took on multiple shift patterns during the time period.

Weather warnings were issued for Lincolnshire throughout the week by the Met Office.

Heavy snow caused hazardous conditions for drivers and cancellations on public transport across the region.

Lincolnshire Police called a critical incident on February 28 after more than 70 collisions were called since 7am in the morning