Keep your hands off our grit bins, warn council
COUNCIL chiefs across North Somerset are urging people not to empty grit bins during winter weather and use the rock salt for their own purposes.
In the past, when snow has fallen across the district, people have been spotted filling bags with grit from the authority owned bins and taking it home to use on their own driveways and paths.
Contractors have been out filling grit bins to ensure there are adequate supplies following forecasts that snow is expected to fall across North Somerset on Friday and over the weekend.
The grit in the bins, located across the district, should only be used on treacherous roads and pavements.
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North Somerset Council spokesman, Nick Yates, said: "In the past, during cold weather, there have been a minority of people who have taken grit from the bins to use on their own driveways.
"This grit is not for people's own personal use, but to keep the council's roads and pavements safe during winter weather.
"The bins are placed in strategic points on hills and slopes to ensure these areas stay as safe as possible and that the grit is there if people get stuck and need it.
"There are plenty of places where people can buy salt or grit should they need it for personal use."
North Somerset Council's fleet of six gritting trucks have been busy gritting roads over the past few days as temperatures continue to fall.
Highways teams carry out a full grit of roads which covered 29.2 per cent - 200 miles - of North Somerset's road network.
The specialist lorries drop salt at 20 grams per square metre and 30 tonnes of salt - the weight of more than four empty double decker London buses - is used each night.
Each lorry has a tracking system providing data about its location, how much salt it has dispersed and how fast it travelled.
Salting is kept mainly to priority routes including the A370, A369 and the A38, but other roads can be treated if deemed necessary.
A decision on whether to salt the roads is based on the temperatures rather than air temperatures. Special devices are fitted into the road surface to monitor the road temperatures and the council gets detailed reports from the Met Office when severe weather is expected. A decision on whether to salt the roads is taken on a daily basis.
The council has also tripled it salt supplies from 600 tonnes to 2,000 tonnes which is being stockpiled at a new, bigger store in Sandford.
It says the supplies of salt will be enough to get the authority through an 'average' winter and that by upping its own stocks, North Somerset will be less reliant on the national supply chain.