Kirkintilloch:: Big freeze sparks road salt concerns

THE big freeze has sparked concerns over salt and grit supplies in East Dunbartonshire.

Local shop owner Graham More went to the roads department depot at Broomhill, Kirkintilloch, last week to collect salt to put down on the pavement and road outside his shop.

But the former Broomhill worker was told there was none available and to go back the next day.

Graham, who owns Wagtail Pet Supplies, said: "I heard they only had 10 lorry loads left. I couldn't believe it, that's very low.

"I worked on the gritters for 11 years and we could use two to three lorry loads in a night, and that's just for one lorry."

The big freeze at the end of last year and beginning of 2010 saw salt stocks around the country hit rock bottom.

However, East Dunbartonshire Council insists it has adequate supplies.

A council spokesperson said: "We are attempting to discourage private businesses from removing large amounts of salt from the depot as this is primarily for residents' use.

"We don't mind businesses taking a couple of buckets of salt, but we can't allow them to fill a pick-up truck. We need to conserve our salt supplies and be prudent about giving it out. It has to last us throughout the winter.

"The council has adequate salt supplies at this moment in time – around 4,500 tonnes."

Meanwhile, Strathclyde Fire and Rescue is warning people against walking on iced-over ponds, rivers and other bodies of water.