Even Blind Pew would have noticed the snow and cold spell that we have been subjected to these last 4 weeks. I was trying to find how long ago we had weather like this and came across a reference (click HERE) going back to the 1600’s. Of course, those Northern climates get snow every year and lots of it, but it is fairly rare for Cornwall to get a huge dusting of it before Christmas.
Cornwall Council is responsible for over 4,530 miles from major principle roads, to narrow country lanes. In other words, all roads in Cornwall apart from the A30 and A38. That is a lot of roads to cover with 24 gritters. Last year (including the cold spell in Jan) Cornwall Council spent an extra £500k on salt and grit. The average salt usage in the previous last 4 years was 5,500t, last year it was 18,000t. That is a huge increase in tonnage compare to the previous years.
So far this year Cornwall Council has used around 8,000t of salt compared to last year, and has spent an additional £200k having undertaken more pre-salt treatments. In 2009 this was 18, to date it is 48. Of course in an ideal world all roads would be salted, even the narrow back lanes, but this is just not going to happen unless we at least double our fleet of gritters and spend more money on salt. So let’s stop for a minute before we demand all our drives to be cleared as I doubt many will be happy to suddenly find we have a ‘winter’ tax added onto the Council Tax bill to pay for this.
What we should be saying is well done and thank you to all those in the Highway Department who have worked around the clock trying to clear the roads, and acting as quick as possible to each case. I for one have seen far more gritter lorries trundling around our roads than I can remember. So from me, I would like to say a big thank you to all those in Highways who have worked so hard in keeping our roads open. Maybe people might like to write a letter or two to this department to say thank you. It will make a nice change from the ‘My road is this.. etc’
Of course maybe if we do not want to spend more, or have a ‘winter tax’ then maybe every citizen could help out like the picture below (Disclaimer – I am joking)