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Salt stocks replenished across Sussex after a week of snow
Councils are spending hundreds of thousands of pounds replenishing their grit and salt stocks after an intensive week on Sussex’s roads.
The three local authorities in the county have placed orders totalling nearly £200,000 and are now awaiting delivery of thousands of tonnes of grit in the wake of a week of wintry weather.
East Sussex County Council has spent £60,000 on 2,000 tonnes, West Sussex County Council’s contractors have ordered 4,000 tonnes at a cost of £120,000 and Brighton and Hove City Council £15,000 on 500 tonnes as they bid to restore stocks.
The costs to the councils could be more than these estimate figures with suppliers upping their prices when demand surges during cold periods.
The restocking follows a hectic week for the county’s gritters which saw Brighton and Hove use a third of its original winter stock in a matter of days.
A city council official said the authority’s team of seven gritters had used 500 tonnes between January 1 and Tuesday with 600 tonnes remaining and an extra 500 on order.
East Sussex County Council’s highways team used 1,600 tonnes of salt between Thursday morning and Monday night with just over 5,400 tonnes remaining.
The council said new supplies from Cleveland 300 miles away would take about two weeks to be delivered.
An East Sussex County Council spokeswoman said the grit would be bought from their winter maintenance budget of £1.2m.
West Sussex County Council’s contractors Balfour Beatty doubled their order for more salt to 4,000 tonnes this week in response to renewed snow flurries.
Nearly 4,000 tonnes of grit were used last week, including 800 tonnes on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
New deliveries from Cheshire and Cleveland will be delivered at the authority’s four depots in Midhurst, Clapham, Drayton and Hickstead.
Roger Williams, East Sussex’s head of highways, said: “We are doing everything we possibly can to keep the county’s roads and communities moving, working around the clock to grit and clear the roads and distributing tonnes of salt at more than 40 locations so people have been able to clear pavements and pedestrian areas themselves.”
Councillor Ian Davey, chair of Brighton and Hovel’s transport committee, said the council would dip into emergency financial reserves if the county suffered an exceptionally long period of cold.
He said more salt and grit has been delivered this week.
He added: “Our brilliant gritting teams have been working flat out to keep the city moving and will continue to do so.
“We are confident that we have enough stocks for the current cold snap.”
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