- Posted by: Joyce Watson MS
- Category: Feature
Assembly Member Joyce Watson has suggested Mid & West Wales councils use bumper salt stores to grit more of the county’s roads this winter.
Earlier this month the Welsh Government revealed Welsh Councils have stockpiled a record amount of grit to combat the freezing weather. Wales will enter this winter with 243,000 tonnes of road salt – more than 100,000 tonnes more than the amount at the same time two years ago.
Speaking in the Senedd on Tuesday (20 November), Mrs Watson asked Transport Minister Carl Sargeant whether more salt would mean greater coverage in rural areas.
“Lots of the communities I represent are off the main arterial road networks. I understand that there has to be prioritisation, but you must appreciate that some towns and villages in rural Wales get cut off every time there is bad weather,” she said, before asking if the Minister had discussed extending gritting coverage with Gwynedd Council.
Mr Sargeant said it was up to individual local authorities to decide which roads to grit.
“Opportunities for mobility around the region are extremely important, but this is a matter for the local authorities. We have plenty of salt, or I would probably be more comfortable saying ‘enough salt’. We know, from previous winters, of the pressure on the system. It is important that we are able to comply with the salt plans of individual authorities in terms of how many days’ salt to hold in storage. Increasing the demand for routes is something that they would have to carefully decide on in terms of managing the increased costs incurred,” he said.