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UK feels salt pinch

Empty cellars put gritting on ice

salting a road in Oxford

A council worker grits an Oxford back street with table salt

photo: Rosalind West

The UK’s councils have been leaving roads treacherously icy as supplies of gritting salt run low throughout the country. A suggestion made following a poll of Daily Mail readers, that we should send asylum seekers down the salt mines was said to be under review by the Home Secretary.

Great Britain’s main supplier of gritting salt, the Salt Union, has been working round the clock since the start of January, but is still unable to keep up with demand, as salt-strapped local authorities pull gritters back to cover only major A-roads, and councillors’ routes home down twisty country lanes.

Councils running low on road salt have been forced to use table salt, or a variety of other condiments in attempts to keep the roads clear. ‘We’ve found dark soy sauce to be the most effective,’ gritter Marvin Wilcox told KTAB News, ‘Sugar was reasonably effective, but that attracted a lot of badgers. Our worst effort was probably mustard powder, which seemed to create a sludgy, yellow paste which was a greater hazard to vehicles than the snow we were trying to remove…but was good in sandwiches.

‘After a particularly desperate suggestion that we “fight fire with fire”, we found covering the roads in snow to be the least helpful of all.’

The failure of alternative anti-snow substances has forced moves to source salt from elsewhere. ‘We’ve got salt coming in from Tunisia, Germany and Spain,’ grit pundit Francis Bargle told KTAB, ‘And Iran has promised “a flaming ball of fire to destroy the frozen infidels!!!” Apparently they didn’t like our multi-ethnic snow-Mohammed.’

A passing man unaware that the latest crisis had aready replaced the previous crisis began chanting ‘British salt for British drivers’, before being hit by an out-of-control BMW, during a shocking outbreak of irony.

Jeremy Clarkson, who recently joined the pantheon of BBC presenters who are officially rebuked ahead of a publicity-boosting absolution, has been leading the case for climate change. ‘If you need salt on the roads, why don’t we just make sea levels rise?’ he asked, as he tried to sneak away from his BMW before the arrival of police.


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