182 new snow ploughs to be bought

Following the extreme winter weather the Highways Agency has decided to purchase 182 new snow ploughs.

Junior minister Paul Clark said the agency would buy the ploughs this year and they would go into operation in the Midlands, North East and parts of the South East.

They will be bought as part of a four-year programme costing £45 million to replace the "winter fleet".

Mr Clark added that a further 43 "dedicated snow ploughs", the snow-clearing attachment which goes on the front of vehicles, would also be bought to be used as spares.

The decision comes after the recent heavy snowfall brought parts of Britain to a standstill, councils ran out of grit and roads were slow to be cleared.

In response to a question from Labour's Ashok Kumar, who asked about funding used to buy the ploughs, Mr Clark said: "The Highways Agency has completed the first phase of a four-year procurement contract worth £45 million, to replace all winter fleet vehicles including snow ploughs.

"The first phase has covered the North West, East and part of the South East. In the next 12 months, the Agency will be purchasing 43 dedicated snow ploughs and a further 182 vehicles adapted for the use of snow ploughs."

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