Motorists in Leeds are being warned to take extra care when driving as many roads will be untreated as the cold weather continues to stretch the council's salt supplies.
From today (Monday 22 February) Leeds City Council will only grit around 300 miles of 'A' roads and emergency service routes to hospitals, fire and police stations in order to conserve stocks for as long as possible.
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The decision comes after the worst winter for 30 years which has meant salt stocks are now at a critical level in the city. The government has taken over the allocation of salt deliveries and Leeds, like every other local authority, is now receiving a rationed supply rather than the volumes it has ordered
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Through careful planning and management of salt stocks, Leeds City Council has continually gritted around 800 miles of the city's priority network of roads during the recent cold weather.
However, the combination of this weekend's snow, rationed deliveries and potentially further snowfall this week means this is no longer possible.
Councillor Andrew Carter, leader of Leeds City Council, said:
"Regrettably, until further notice, we will only be able to grit 'A' roads and emergency service routes. This decision was taken after much consideration but we have to accept that, with salt supplies being rationed by central government, we are unable to grit as many roads as we would like.
"I would urge all motorists to drive with even more care and attention than usual, regardless of the road they are on. We will continue doing our best to keep the city moving and will be urging the government to increase supplies to us.
"We started the winter with more than 21,000 tonnes of grit – more than we used for the whole of last winter. We have lent grit to other authorities which needed our help but because the government has rationed supplies, we have no alternative but to make this decision. We will grit more and more roads as and when we are able to."