Page last updated at 19:26 GMT, Thursday, 7 January 2010

Emergency grit supplies delivered

Gritter in West Yorkshire
Gritters are treating only about 25% of roads in Calderdale

Emergency supplies of grit have been sent to a West Yorkshire council where stocks were seriously low.

Calderdale Council, which covers Pennine districts around Halifax, has taken delivery of 100 tonnes of salt from the Highways Agency.

However, the local authority said it was gritting only a quarter of the road network in a bid to preserve supplies.

Meanwhile, more than 100 schools were closed in West Yorkshire as heavy snow and ice continued to cause problems.

Some flights at Leeds Bradford Airport were delayed or cancelled.

A total of 118 schools were closed in West Yorkshire on Thursday. More than 400 schools were shut on Wednesday.

'Conserving supplies'

Grit supplies were also dwindling in Leeds where councillors said only primary roads would be salted as of Thursday night.

Leeds City Council said it would not be responding to requests for salting of pavements, gritting secondary routes or filling grit bins until further supplies arrived.

Council leader, Andrew Carter said: "Given the shortage of salt across the country, it is now essential we conserve salt supplies where possible, which regrettably means we cannot continue with the current level of service."

Cllr Carter said a delivery of salt was expected next week but that government controls on salt distribution meant the planned delivery was not guaranteed to come on time.

Other local authorities across the county also said their grit supplies were running low.

Supplies low

Kirklees Council said it had been put on the government's priority list as supplies were low and they were waiting to hear when emergency stocks would be delivered.

David Sheard, the council's cabinet member for highways, said: "We did a full grit at 5am on Thursday but salt supplies are now low."

A Calderdale Council spokesman said: "We got 100 tonnes of salt delivered yesterday taking our stocks to about 500 tonnes in total.

"It's difficult to say how long these supplies will last because it depends on what the weather does.

"However, any delivery of grit at the moment is welcome."

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