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Liquid may replace salt as de-icer

After a successful trial in the northeast, there is now a liquid that can cut through snow and ice at -20C. After failures of trying to cope with sub zero temperatures using salt and grit, the Scottish Government is testing the ice eliminator.

Trials show a significant result after being sprayed onto hard packed snow and ice, earlier this month. It can also be mixed with salt to increase its effectiveness. This is a welcome sight after roads ground to a stop when temperatures lowered to -25C last month.

It is necessary to find ways of improving our response to severe weather, since last month the coldest weather in 100 years hit us. There are three liquids that will be tested during the winter and have been placed in different parts of the country to be used when the temperature deeps to low for salt to be effective.

The director of Infrastructure said they are happy to test run the product. They are always interested in improving the networks resilience to harsh winter weather.

The chairmen of the Highland Council transport services said he welcomed the testing but was being cautious about the costs. He is interested in how the tests go; nevertheless he knows that they cannot totally do away with salt, which would mean redoing the whole system.

An AA spokesman said the liquid will be another useful weapon against severe weather, after having endured such a cold winter and seeing how the lack of effectiveness of the salt was exposed at low temperatures.

The governments new winter transport plan include the liquid de-icer and sensors to detect dangerous road conditions and advising motorists of the same. The country was pretty much brought to a standstill during the cold weather and that prompted the resignation of Banff and Buchan MSP Stewart and former transport minister Stewart Stevenson.

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