Lincs: A new salt barn has been opened ready for gritting the county’s roads during the winter months

New salt barn opened at Willingham Hall depot
New salt barn opened at Willingham Hall depot

A newly-constructed salt barn at Willingham Hall highways depot will provide ideal conditions for storing salt to be used for gritting Lincolnshire roads during severe winter conditions.

Where previously salt was stored outside under covers, the new barn can store twice as much salt in optimum, dry conditions.

Coun Richard Davies, executive member for highways and transportation said: “Keeping the county’s roads safe during winter is a priority for the council, and Lincolnshire is at the forefront of developing new techniques and approaches to winter maintenance.

“The new salt barn is an important asset, which was funded through savings made in previous mild winters.

“Storing the salt in ideal dry conditions means it can be used much more efficiently on our roads.

“The salt is wetted as it’s spread by the gritter, which helps it to work better and spread more accurately, resulting in a 30 per cent saving in the amount of salt being used.”

“Gritters can also stay out for longer, ensuring a better use of drivers’ time and more efficient use of fuel.”

There are eight highways depots around Lincolnshire, of which seven now have purpose-built salt barns.

Lincs County Council’s fleet of gritters headed out on Saturday, October 3, on their first test run of the year.

The county’s roads might still be frost-free but the winter response team were checking the gritters are ready for any challenges ahead.

Coun Davies added: “I am really excited about the gritting programme this year as we have a more efficient and cost-effective service and we can still treat nearly 2,000 miles of our county’s road at once if we need to.

“Our salt reserves are shipped over from the Mediterranean so it has made financial sense to buy in bulk and we will keep what we don’t use for the following winter.

“We also expect to use less salt this winter as we can monitor the temperature of individual roads with our new-technology – so we can be more targeted with the roads we treat.

“Of course if we are in any doubt roads will be gritted to make sure they are safe but it’s great to have this flexibility.”

Between October 1, and April 30, each year, the council monitors 12 roadside weather stations 24 hours a day and use Met Office forecasts to predict when action is needed to keep the roads safe.

Keep up to date with gritting in Lincolnshire at www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/winterweather or follow @LincsCC_Roads on Twitter.