Are town’s roads facing another ice age?

Drop Folder News/Atex News. 02/12/10. Pic Kevin Allen.'Seamer Moor Lane... Blocked with heavy snow fall.'104851g.
Drop Folder News/Atex News. 02/12/10. Pic Kevin Allen.'Seamer Moor Lane... Blocked with heavy snow fall.'104851g.
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NO EXTRA measures are being taken to prevent last year’s snow chaos on Scarborough’s Road.

North Yorkshire County Council plans to grit the region’s roads with the same quantity of salt stock as last year.

However, throughout December and January Scarborough’s roads and footpaths were covered by thick layers of snow and ice for days at a time due to dwindling salt levels.

The short supply meant “priority three” smaller roads were not gritted at all, while larger “priority two” roads were only gritted once a day.

While many roads were impassable and had to be closed, Scarborough Hospital’s accident and emergency department saw an increase in the number of patients suffering sprains and breaks after slipping on the ice.

The situation reached such an extent that Scarborough Council stepped in and took sand from the beach to clear some of the footpaths.

However the County Council believes it is well equipped to deal with any snowy weather heading for Scarborough this winter.

The authority has 55,000 tonnes of salt stockpiled throughout the county and its salt barns are full in readiness for winter

A spokesman from the council said: “North Yorkshire’s main priority during extreme weather is to keep major routes treated and passable, followed by other important routes.

“With a £6.2 million budget it treats well over half of the county’s 5,600 miles (9,000km) of road on a routine basis. This far exceeds national guidelines.

“The county council is also working with local communities to help clear footpaths to supplement its service during extreme weather.

“The Council’s website now provides more detailed information about gritting operations, why the highways service does what it does, how salt works, gritting route maps and new leaflets plus images and real-time weather information from its weather stations.”

Last year North Yorkshire County Council invested in renewing seven trailer gritters and 28 new snowploughs in a bid to ensure contractors had the right equipment when they needed it.

The county now has a fleet of 93 gritters, five snowblowers and can call on the services of 120 snowplough contractors when conditions become severe.