Transport Secretary Lord Adonis has warned that it will be necessary for councils to ration supplies of salt if the country is to cope with the continued cold weather.

The Transport Secretary told the House of Lords that the Highways Agency and Councils have agreed to cut salt used on roads by 25%, adding that further measures to keep networks open may be needed given the prolonged cold weather.

The decision was criticised by Shadow Travel Secretary, Theresa Villiers, who said that this was an “admission of guilt” because the government “had sat on the Local Government Association’s report on the issue until two days before the snow started to fall and they failed to learn the lessons of February 2009.”

The Salt Cell, that brings together the agencies that supply road salt, will be meeting today to discuss the situation. Despite the obvious concern over this cold period and a noticeable lack of cleared side roads, the Highways Agency insist that there are sufficient salt supplies to keep main roads open in the coming days.