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Drivers warned as salt shortage bites

WITH SALT supplies across Scotland running low, Shetland Islands Council said it was having to use a salt/grit mix on more island roads to conserve its own salt stocks.

Drivers across the isles are being warned to take extra care as some roads that had been salted in the past will now be treated differently.

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SIC head of roads Ian Halcrow said that the council’s salt reserves would keep gritters going for another two to three weeks, depending on the weather.

However since orders of salt might take another two to three weeks to arrive, a precautionary approach has been decided upon.

He said: “From today (Thursday), the treatment of all roads except the busier main roads (plus Lerwick and Scalloway) will be treated with salt/grit mix. 

“The busier roads that will continue to be treated with salt are from Channerwick in the south to Mavis Grind and Toft in the north, the A970 road from Lerwick to Scalloway and the A971 west as far as the head of Weisdale Voe.

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“We will be monitoring the effect of this change over the coming days and weeks.”

Mr Halcrow said the last two weeks had been exceptionally busy with all council gritters in operation. Gritters had also been out on 12 further days during the four weeks before the wintry spell.

He added: “The addition of grit in the mix has the advantage of providing immediate traction before the salt takes effect, but the disadvantage is that grit is left on the road after the ice has melted.

“Drivers are therefore urged to take care, as they will be more likely to encounter loose grit on many roads in Shetland over the next few weeks.”

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