UK gritter and road salt shortage could make roads icy death traps as temperatures fall

22 Nov 2021 7:38 AM | Smart About Salt (Administrator)

UK gritter and road salt shortage could make roads icy death traps as temperatures fall - Mirror Online

The UK is facing a shortage of gritters and road salt, which could make roads dangerous as temperatures are set to plunge around the country.

While forecasters have warned Brits to prepare for freezing weather conditions in the coming weeks, there are fears that there are not enough employees to remove snow from the street and keep motorists safe.

The issue is linked to a wider shortage of HGV drivers, which has seen vacancies jump by nearly a third across the UK compared to pre-pandemic levels.

Highways chiefs are warning that a lack of staff to spread salt on the roads could cause traffic chaos this winter.

Officials also said that there is less grit in stock than in recent winters, with transport bosses in Scotland saying there are 30,000 fewer tonnes of salt in stock than last year.

The Local Government Association said the driver shortage could mean gritting runs are axed, the Daily Star reports.

Spokesman Cllr David Renard said: "Some councils may find gritting services are affected in the same way as some waste collection services have been impacted."

Meanwhile, authorities in Hampshire said they are "training new drivers to ensure we can maintain our winter service when demand peaks."

Wrexham Council said it was "monitoring the situation very closely".

It comes as forecasters warned the UK can expect sub-zero temperatures from tomorrow, with lows of -12C likely by the end of November.

Forecasters at MetDesk said: "A big change is shown for next week, with Arctic winds, plummeting temperatures and snow for some."

The Met Office warned of heavy snowfall in the north of the UK on Monday, with the cold blast predicted to reach the south by Wednesday night.

Met Office forecaster Marco Petagna said: "I couldn't imagine a better weather pattern for cold weather fans, with forecast models showing a northerly straight from the Arctic next week."

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