Rock Salt Facts and Figures
Rock Salt Facts & Figures of Icy Winter Conditions
- Many of the towns around the Cheshire area take their name from salt production. Northwich, Middlewich and Nantwich are three examples; ‘wych’ or ‘wich’ means ‘brine town’.
- Over two million tonnes of salt are spread onto UK roads each and evry year. The majority is spread on to motorways and main roads. Less than a third of other roads are treated at all.
- Salting roads in the UK costs over £150 million a year. However without salting, delays would cost the economy as estimated £2 billion per year.
- An Act of Parliament from 2003 binds local authorities to ensure: “… so far as is reasonably practical… safe passage along a highway is not endangered by snow or ice.”
- Dependent solely on the weather, winter maintenance expenditure can vary significantly, making control of budgets very difficult. There can also be a huge difference between individual area Highway Authority winter maintenance plans.
- Historically, great attention is given to planning but less attention was paid to the outcomes/effectiveness of the salting activities. The introduction of technology to winter maintenance is now providing methods to review effectiveness and efficiency of service delivery.
- Each year, approximately 1,000 people are killed or seriously injured on icy or snow covered roads.
- EuroRAP survey results show the risk of being killed in a traffic accident in Britain is 5.9 per 100,000 population – the lowest in any country in Europe.