The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport in the UK (CILT) has reminded all transport operators and highways authorities of the need for adequate preparation in order to minimise any possible repeat of the difficulties which arose during the very heavy snowfalls and icy conditions of 2010, following similar problems the previous winter.
CILT Chief Executive Steve Agg says: ‘The Government appointed review which considered the events of last winter, and reported in July, concluded that, although those responsible for the condition of the roads, together with the freight logistics industry, did a good job in maintaining deliveries, it was a close run thing with supplies of salt almost running out at one point.
‘In 2010, life is such that even a short term paralysis of the delivery system could result in empty shelves and operational problems for UK industry. The transport sector is agile and innovative and has a proud record of dealing with most of the problems that it encounters. Hopefully, no such paralysis is in view. But we need to take steps in order to avoid, or at least minimise, such a prospect.
‘In addition to the obvious need to ensure high maintenance standards on the vehicles themselves, operators should have emergency arrangements in place in the event of severe weather conditions.
‘Individual companies should take every measure possible to ensure their services can continue. In addition, highway authorities must do all they can to ensure that adequate stocks of salt and grit are available to deal with similar conditions to those experienced last January. CILT is concerned by the recent statement from the Local Government Association which warned that "a proportion of councils do not have as much salt in their storage facilities as they would like".
‘On behalf of both the road based logistics and passenger transport sectors, CILT calls for those highway authorities which consider themselves short of adequate supplies of salt and grit to correct the shortfall before the bad weather arrives. Failure to keep our roads open inevitably results in safety issues, extra costs, and social and industrial inconvenience which we must avoid, if at all possible.’