More than a million tons of salt stockpiled by councils to ensure roads are kept clear for voters
Councils gear up for cold snap by stockpiling salt to make sure the roads are clear for voters to get to the polling booths on election day.
More than a million tons of salt have been stockpiled by councils around England and Wales to ensure roads are kept clear as people go to the polls.
Forecasters are predicting a cold snap next week, with overnight frosts and sleet and snow possible on higher ground in northern England and Wales.
Numerous marginal constituencies could be affected including some of those in Labour’s historic ‘Red Wall’ of safe seats stretching from Merseyside to Yorkshire.
The Tories are also defending a number of seats with very small majorities in parts of the Welsh borders, East Midlands, Yorkshire and Lancashire. Senior Conservatives have told of their fears that adverse weather conditions could reduce turnout among older voters – who are more inclined to support the party.
The outcome in some seats could depend on a few hundred votes or less. In 2017, Labour won Keighley, in the Pennine foothills of West Yorkshire, from the Tories by just 249 votes.
David Morris – defending a 1,399 majority for the Conservatives in Morecambe and Lunesdale, Lancashire, against a strong Labour challenge – called on councils to ensure people can get to polling stations if there is ice or snow.
Mr Morris, who has been the area’s MP since 2010, said: ‘It’s a health and safety issue. Councils run by parties of all political colours need to make sure people can get to their local polling station without injury.’
A spokesman for the Local Government Association said: ‘Councils are hugely experienced at running elections and have worked tirelessly to get everything in place for December 12.
‘With fleets of gritting trucks, state-of-the-art technology, more than a million tons of salt stockpiled and plans in place to try and ensure key routes to polling stations are accessible, councils have prepared for any freezing or snowy weather on polling day.’