Hereford & Worcester

Salt water solution for Worcestershire's icy roads

A salt water solution will be sprayed onto icy roads across Worcestershire this winter, the council says.

The council's gritters go on standby from Monday and now have brine tanks installed on their sides to cover the salt as it is sprayed onto the roads.

The solution works faster than dry rock salt alone which also requires traffic to drive over it to start breaking down the ice, the council said.

In a trial last winter, the council said it saved £40,000 in salt stocks.

John Fraser, highways manager for Worcestershire, said: "What we're doing this year is, we have got these brine tanks that sit on the side of the gritters and as salt is sprayed out of the back, it sprays salt water on the grit.

'Plenty for winter'

"Because it's in a solution it goes to work a lot quicker.

"If you put dry salt down, you need a bit of action from the traffic to get it mixed up to have the de-icing affect.

"A lot of dry salt bounces off the road to the side or in hedges so actually using this process, it sticks to the roads better and you can turn the spread-rate down so, over the winter season you're going to save a lot of grit which is important during these times."

In a trial last year, the council said it saved the money by using the solution with salt on half of the 2,371km of roads the council treats.

Up to 13,000 tonnes of salt have been brought in for this winter which "should be plenty for an ordinary winter", he added. Gritters are on standby until mid-April.

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