Ready for big freeze

A HIGHWAYS chief says he is confident a multi-authority approach to preparing for this winter’s big freeze will be a success.

Hartlepool Borough Council, Durham County Council and Stockton Borough Council, along with nine other North-East local authorities, have formed the North-East Regional Winter Maintenance Working Group to deal with wintry conditions.

The group aims to ensure the region is as prepared as possible in the event of severe weather and buy additional salt stocks if required.

Hartlepool Borough Council’s highways, traffic and transport manager Mike Blair, said: “We have been working as a region for a few years now and we work regionally as a group.

“We discuss the situation with regard to salt supplies and the weather.

“We would expect to be able to go to Durham if we needed to get some mutual aid if they have got plenty of salt left and we are running low.

“But it would only be in a severe weather situation that we would run low because we are well-located for getting re-supplies from Boulby Quarry, near Saltburn.

“We have got as much salt as we can possibly get within our salt barn ready to go – if it snowed tonight we would be in a position to go out there and do the gritting.”

Mr Blair added: “We are confident with both mutual aid arrangements with the rest of the North-East and the close proximity of local supplies we will be able to tackle any severe weather conditions that are thrown at us.”

The regional group is committed to being up-to-date with best practice both regionally and nationally, sharing resources in times of great need and being clear on communications with residents and road users across the region.