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Page last updated at 16:36 GMT, Wednesday, 3 November 2010
Norfolk's roads ready for winter
Grit

Norfolk County Council say the county's roads are ready for the winter after spending £3.5m fixing damage.

Potholes caused by ice were a big problem in Norfolk following Britain's harshest winter for 30 years in 2009.

"We did have a lot of potholes in Norfolk, particularly in south Norfolk where the road conditions are slightly different," said Matthew Worden from the council's highways department.

This year there is also an extra 4,000 tonnes of salt available for gritting.

Around 26,000 tons of salt were used on 3,000km (1,864 miles) of Norfolk's roads in 2009 as temperatures plummeted and snow caused disruption.

"Last winter was bad - normally we do about 70 actions in one winter and last year we did 132," said Mr Worden.

"Norfolk did OK. Last year we gritted all the roads we wanted to grit, whereas some other authorities didn't manage to do that.

"We grit roads based on the route hierarchy, so the most important roads the A roads, the main distributor roads, but we also try and get one road into each village and community so that people can get to the main road.

"We can't grit all the roads, there's 10,000km [6,214 miles] of roads in Norfolk and we grit about 3,000 of that."

Potholes

Potholes sprang up around the county due to water seeping in to the road surface and freezing, causing the tarmac to crack.

While the damage from last year has largely been resolved, there is still a possibility that it may occur again.

"The potholes that we had last year have been fixed," said Mr Worden.

"I'm not saying they're not going to come out again because potholes do come out - all you need is a bit of damage, a bit of water and potholes form, but we will go out and react to those and repair them," he added.

Footpaths

Due to downsizing in the highways department, there will be an extra need for communities to look after their own footpaths this year.

"We will grit the footpaths but only when we've got the resources available," said Mr Worden.

"We're getting smaller therefore were looking more to work with the communities to do more of this work.

"We're looking this year to talk to towns and parish councils to see if we can work with them.

"There was a lot of concern last year that people thought they were going to be liable if they gritted footways but the government has just issued some further advice.

"It says if you use common sense the idea of you being prosecuted or being liable of doing something of benefit to the community is ridiculous."




SEE ALSO
Prepare for winter on the roads
29 Oct 10 |  TV & Radio
In pictures: Snow photos - 10 Jan
10 Jan 10 |  Nature & Outdoors
Norfolk: Latest winter disruption
03 Dec 10 |  People & Places
Helping Norfolk's winter birds
08 Jan 10 |  Nature & Outdoors
Guide to driving safely in winter
29 Nov 10 |  Nature & Outdoors
Emergency services in Norfolk
03 Dec 10 |  People & Places
Guide to keeping warm this winter
23 Nov 10 |  Nature & Outdoors

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