Mid Wales

Road salt stocks set to rise in Powys to 20,000 tonnes

A council worker spreading salt (generic)
Image caption The council is reopening a salt barn in Presteigne

Stock levels of road salt in Powys are set to rise by 30% to 20,000 tonnes after last winter's big freeze.

Powys council warned at one stage last January that its gritting reserves were "critically low" and could run out if the bad weather continued.

This winter, salt levels will increase from 14,000 to 20,000 tonnes and a mothballed store at Presteigne will reopen and another created in Rhayader.

The council's ruling board has backed the plans.

As grit supplies ran low last January and the big freeze took hold, the local authority said it had used 13,000 tonnes of salt in the previous December, compared with an average of 5,000 tonnes.

It added that its levels were "critically low".

'Emergency committee'

In readiness for this year, a council report said salt stock levels would increase to 20,000 tonnes.

It added: "This will be achieved through nominal increases in stock holding at existing stores, bringing back on line the barn at Presteigne as a strategic store and creating a sheeted strategic store at Rhayader depot.

"In exceptional circumstances there may be a need to restrict or vary the use of salt and treatments.

"It is therefore proposed that if salt stock falls to 7,000 tonnes during the core season November to February inclusive, that the portfolio holder and head of service implement an enhanced daily monitoring regime."

It said that if levels fell to 5,000 tonnes then salt would only be used on primary routes and for emergency response calls.

If stock goes below 3,000 tonnes, an emergency committee would be created "to manage and direct winter operations", added the report.

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