Europe’s big freeze has caused a sharp increase in demand for road salt. Reserves in some countries though are seriously depleted. In Germany, some cities have had to scale back operations because of dwindling stocks.
“We’ve had to put the brakes on and stop gritting secondary roads,” said Michael Sauer, of Remscheid’s city authority. “We’ve also said that roads should not be gritted pre-emptively, only where there’s ice.”
German salt mines are working around the clock to maintain supplies. But they are struggling to keep up with demand.
So far motorways and other arterial routes are getting priority, with cities and towns left to make do with whatever they can muster.
Germany and Britain have ordered more salt from abroad to boost exhausted stocks. But with no relief from the cold in sight, it’s unclear how long those supplies will last.