Rochdale Borough Council is asking residents to be vigilant after reports that salt has been stolen from gritting bins throughout the area.
Peter O’Gorman, Highway Maintenance Team Leader at Rochdale Borough Council, said: “We have started filling gritting bins in preparation for winter and almost immediately have had reports it has been stolen.
“It is believed the salt is either being taken by somebody for use on their own driveway or, more likely, a rogue trader is taking it to sell if the weather takes a turn for the worse.
“The salt is for use on the highways and bins are placed in strategic positions near to steep hills and sharp bends. So as well as the considerable cost implications, road users could be put in danger if there is no grit available in snowy and icy weather conditions.
“If residents see anything suspicious I would urge them to call the police.”
The authority has more than 455 salt bins strategically positioned around the borough in areas where particularly difficult conditions exist. There are seven gritting vehicles on standby and drivers are on call 24-hours-day, seven days-a-week ready to keep the borough’s roads safe in the worst winter weather.
Councillor Jacqui Beswick, Cabinet Member for Place and Regulation, said, “To grit local roads effectively, our teams have to know the grit bins are full when they respond to changing, unpredictable conditions.”
In a typical winter, the authority will salt or clear snow from the roads on average 145 times with most gritting carried out at night or early morning. Major routes are treated, which accounts for around 50 per cent or 320 km of the total road network.
There are 5,000 tonnes of rock salt in storage and, on average, 5300 tonnes is used each year. However, a weekly report on salt usage is sent to suppliers so supplies can be topped up if required.
Residents can view the gritting routes via the ‘Gritting and winter service’ pages at www.rochdale.gov.uk
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