Minister for the East of England thanks depot staff for keeping the region moving during the big chi

REGIONAL Minister Barbara Follett visited a Cambridgeshire salt depot to thank staff for their hard work through the recent freezing weather. The Minister for the East of England congratulated staff at the Highways Agency in Whittlesford for keeping the c

REGIONAL Minister Barbara Follett visited a Cambridgeshire salt depot to thank staff for their hard work through the recent freezing weather.

The Minister for the East of England congratulated staff at the Highways Agency in Whittlesford for keeping the county's M11 motorway and major A-roads moving since the extreme cold and snowy weather set in before Christmas.

Gritting teams and traffic officers from the Highways Agency worked throughout the past month, clearing snow and treating its roads to keep them open, and dealing with any incidents.

Mrs Follett said: "This has been the longest spell of freezing weather for 29 years and, throughout it, councils and contractors in the East of England have worked with the Highways Agency to keep our roads open.


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"I want to thank them for their sterling efforts. Without their commitment and dedication, which I know has been round-the-clock in Whittlesford, many people would have suffered far more danger and discomfort than they did in the snow and ice that covered our transport network.

"Britain gets long spells of icy weather once a generation and this one was particularly long. That is why we had to ask local authorities to adapt their strategies to make sure there was enough salt to keep priority roads open.

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"In some areas, this meant sharing much needed resources and I was proud of the teamwork displayed by authorities through this difficult time."

Highways Agency regional performance manager for eastern England, Mike Wherrett, said the Highways Agency was fully prepared for the recent cold weather.

"Throughout the day and night, our salt spreaders and snow ploughs from Whittlesford and 12 other depots across eastern England have been out on the motorways and major A-roads, ensuring that they remained open and safe for the travelling public," he said.

"Where incidents did occur our service providers worked with our traffic officers and the emergency services to re-open roads as quickly as possible and provide assistance to road users in trouble.

"We constantly monitor the weather conditions to treat roads affected by the snow and ice, ensuring our roads remain in a safe and serviceable condition during the wintry weather conditions."

Cambridgeshire County Council's cabinet member for highways and access, Cllr Mac McGuire echoed Mrs Follett's in praising staff from all the agencies. He added: "The county council was well prepared for the winter weather with additional stocks of grit and salt which enabled us to cope with the national rationing or rock salt while at the same time continuing to treat the major road network in the county.

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