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West Berkshire ready for winter

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'We have enough salt' says West Berkshire Council and Highways Agency

THE Highways Agency and West Berkshire Council both say they are ready for winter's onslaught, and have enough salt and grit to deal with the worst the season throws our way.

Last Wednesday, at a Chieveley depot, the Highways Agency showed off part of its fleet of 100 state of the art vehicles on standby in South East England, ready to distribute mountains of salt – a quarter of a million tons, which is 25 per cent more than last year – at the first sign of snow.

The Highways Agency ran out of grit in both 2008 and 2009, but supplies held up last year and predictions are that this will again be the case this year.

West Berkshire Council spokesman Keith Ulyatt said the council was similarly prepared: “We have 5,000 tonnes of salt grit in stock, which is the same as last year. It was ample then, and that was one of the worst winters on record so there should be plenty.”

He added: “That said, no amount of gritting can eliminate all risk. In severe weather, everyone has a part to play in keeping roads safe, helping to keep services going, and helping others who may be experiencing difficulties.”

His views were echoed by roads minister Mike Penning, who warned that motorists should take time to prepare themselves and their vehicles in case they get caught out by the weather.

He said: “A few very simple steps taken now, such as putting together a severe weather emergency kit for your car, can reduce the risk of being caught out by the weather.”

For full details on what a winter car kit should contain, www.highways.gov.uk/winter

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