Devon

Devon roads gritting cut as supplies dwindle

Gritting shovel
Image caption Grit bins will be replenished says the council, but bags will not be replaced

Minor roads in Devon will not be gritted after Boxing Day in an attempt to conserve supplies.

The county council says it has 9,000 tonnes of salt and grit left after using 15,000 tonnes this winter.

Severe weather means that it has spread about three times the amount it used over the same period in 2009.

About 1,700 miles of A and B roads will be gritted compared with 2,000 miles previously.

Grit bins will be filled with grit, but salt bags will not be replaced, said the county council which has issued a map with live information on road conditions.

It said the change should make supplies last until the end of January when another 8,000 tonnes are expected.

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Highways and Transportation, said the plan would be reviewed if extreme weather returned.

He said: "The ongoing freezing temperatures are taking their toll on salt resources, and although we are relatively well off compared to some authorities our salt stocks will not last forever.

"We must be prepared for the possibility of these conditions continuing, and while we appreciate these are testing times for everyone, we will only be able to treat the main routes in the county and simply won't be able to attend to minor roads and estates."

Met Office forecasters predicted temperatures as low as -14C in Devon on Friday night.

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