Facts About Salt and Deicing
- Over two million tonnes of salt are spread onto the UK roads each year. The majority is spread onto Motorways, trunk roads and main roads. Less than a third of other roads are treated.
- Salting UK roads costs over £150 million per year.
- Without adequate salting, delays caused would cost UK plc £280 million every day.
- Local authorities are bound by an Act of Parliament, passed in 2003, which states, "a highway authority are under a duty to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that safe passage along a highway is not endangered by snow or ice."
- Dependent solely on the weather, winter maintenance expenditure can vary vastly, making control of budgets very difficult.
- Historically, great attention was given to planning but less attention was paid to the outcomes/effectiveness of the salting activities. The introduction of technology to winter maintenance is now providing methods to review effectiveness and efficiency of service delivery.
- In the winter of 2010/11 there were over 15,000 admissions to hospital in England and Wales due to people falling over on snow or ice (data source: hospital episode statistics for England and Patient Episode database for Wales).
- EuroRAP survey results show the risk of being killed in a traffic accident in Britain is 5.9 per 100,000 population - the lowest in any country in Europe.
- 70% of Salt Union's customers now take 6mm salt which results in a reduction in windscreen damage and controls spread away from verges which results in less wastage. The balance still uses 10mm.
- 10mm salt may be better for spreading wider roads and for greater penetration on lying snow.
- Salt Union supplies 5 grades of salt. Dryrox 6mm, Dryrox 10mm, Thawrox 6mm, Thawrox 10mm and Thawrox+ (6mm).
- Thawrox+ is rock salt with a molasses based additive, which improves the spread pattern and resilient properties of standard salt, allowing a reduction in the amount of salt used.
- Dryrox has a lower moisture content than Thawrox.
Thawrox is often taken to be stored in salt barns, whereas Dryrox is typically taken to be stored outside, however it is recommended that salt should be stored undercover using either permanent fixtures or sheeting type products such as DryStore.
- For calibration of spreader vehicles, bulk density and flow characteristics are particularly important depending on the grade of salt used. The flow rate of damp salt is less than that of dry salt.