A COUNCILLOR has warned that there will be a 'large bill' for the repair of the borough's roads following the prolonged cold spell this winter.

At a council meeting last Thursday, Cllr Roy Miller said roads will have suffered because of the long cold snap, and initial talks with highways officers suggest they're going to be 'in a bad way'.

Despite the warning, Cllr Miller praised council staff for keeping roads open, which he said had cost the authority more than £1 million.

"I would like to say a big thank you to all the staff of the council," he said. "So far this year it has cost us £1.2 million in keeping our roads in Barnsley open."

He explained how gritting had started earlier than usual, beginning in November, and the final grit had been carried out in the second week of April.

Seven new gritting vehicles were used and Cllr Miller said gritting had taken place on more than 100 occasions - more than double the 48 times the previous year.

To keep the roads open, about 9,400 tonnes of rock salt was used - trebling last winter's amount.

In preparation for the coming winter, the council is considering buying snow blower vehicles due to the drifts experienced this year. In some places they were up to seven feet and blocked some roads and homes in the west of the borough.