Most cities have learned from last winter and have increased their stocks of road salt. This is the result of a recent survey conducted by auto club europa among 27 major german cities. Only a few municipalities were short the budget for winter services, the club said.
According to the ACE, the city of gera in thuringia has doubled its stockpile and now keeps 1200 tons of salt on hand. Reserves were also doubled in kiel, the capital of schleswig-holstein, before the start of winter. Koblenz in rhineland-palatinate is not only increasing its stockpile from 500 to 900 tons of gritting material, but also has a contingent of 1500 tons in store with its supplier. Mainz increases its previous stock of 420 tons by another 300 tons. In addition, the winter road clearance service there ames that salt producers have prepared themselves better than in the past for increased demand in winter. Dortmund increased its salt stockpile by 40 percent and the brandenburg state capital potsdam increased its winter budget by more than a third to over two million euros.
The problem: road salt clumps together when stored for long periods and can then no longer be used as a gritting material. With a mild winter, already financially strapped municipalities face losses. If they stock too little, they may no longer be able to meet their road safety obligations. This was the case last winter, when many cities were no longer able to ensure safe roads and sidewalks. What is striking, says ACE, is that cities that ran out of salt last winter are scrambling to create reserves and options at a high level this year. Where the last winter did not lead to emergencies, people are apparently more willing to restore or even lower the previous amount of gritting material. (ACE)