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Blackburn with Darwen council ‘ready with the grit’
A CAR overturned on a motorway sliproad in icy conditions despite gritters being out overnight.
A man suffered minor injuries as he drove towards Blackburn’s Whitebirk roundabout at J6 of the M65.
The crash came despite specialist grit lorries treating motorways, slip roads and main roads on Sunday night after the Met Office forecast freezing conditions.
The forecast for this week is for milder weather, with temperatures staying above freezing.
Lancashire County Council said it had 33,000 tonnes of salt – double the 15,000 used last year and 50 per cent up on the 21,000 spread in the harsh winter of 2010/2011.
And Blackburn with Darwen council said its salt barns were full.
A report to councillors said: “More than 3,000 tonnes of grit was purchased at the lower summer rate.
“Sixteen drivers will be on stand-by, with 14 more trained volunteers available for call-out in exceptional conditions.
“All the gritters have been serviced and tested. Each has a dedicated snow plough and GPS tracking equipment.”
Borough roads boss Dave Harling said: “We are prepared if we get a bad spell this winter.
“We are monitoring the weather and if we get any updates, we use all our channels to get information out, including our BwD winter Facebook page which is very popular and updated out of hours.”
Lancashire highways manager Alan Capstick said: “We're better prepared than ever this winter.
“This will help us to keep gritting for longer without resupply if we experience sustained severe weather at any stage.
“This weekend, we treated all gritting routes in East Lancashire on Saturday and Sunday evening, with further treatments in the early hours of Sunday after inspections found that some of the salt had been washed off by rain showers.”
The county council has gritters and salt at depots at Burnley, Whalley and Accrington. It grits a third of county roads when a freeze is predicted – 2,500km out of 7,000km within four hours.
A Highways Agency spokesman said: “We are ready and stocked up at our Whitebirk depot. We are prepared for a cold winter.”