Following the recent snow and extreme weather we have experienced throughout the winter I thought it would be a good opportunity to update you on winter services and ensure you are all clear on roles and responsibilities.
Information is provided and updated on our website here.
And you can get updates on our gritting operations on Twitter: @GlosRoads #gritter twitter
During adverse weather events our highway resources are working 24hours 7 days a week to keep the county moving. In the two instances it has snowed crews have treated and ploughed our key routes and secondary routes. This operation keeps all our resources busy as they are also dealing with other emergencies such as fallen trees and assisting the emergency services.
We all appreciate all the help provided by Town and Parish Councils; specifically the Snow Wardens and Snow Plough Operators dealing with local roads and local priorities.
The highways team are unable to clear all the roads in the county. They simply do not have the time or resources to clear footways but realise these are critical for residents. The support from Town and Parish Councils proves essential at this time.
Many residents can be prevented from leaving their homes to access local facilities during this weather which can affect their quality of life and impact on the businesses providing services within the area too. With this in mind, I would like to remind you all about local self help and ensuring you look after each other during these periods of severe weather.
There are over 3,600 grit bins provided across the county with salt mix to treat the highway at local problem areas, such as bends and inclines. However, please note that this salt must not be used on private land and anyone found doing so could face prosecution.
Grit bins are provided for self help and many Parish and Town Councils have sections within their Winter Action Plans where they hold bagged salt to assist with these problem areas and/or refill grit bins if volunteers are available.
If each property/business owner could clear the footpath in front of their property and spread some grit, from one of the many grit bins, this would help enormously. Many people are concerned that if they clear a footpath and someone slips and injures themselves then they would be liable to potential prosecution. The government say that “You can clear snow and ice from pavements yourself. It’s unlikely that you’ll be sued or held responsible if someone is injured on a path or pavement if you’ve cleared it carefully”.
How to clear snow and ice
Do it early in the day – it's easier to move fresh, loose snow
Don’t use water – it might freeze and turn to black ice
Use salt if possible – it will melt the ice or snow and stop it from refreezing overnight
You can use ash and sand if you don’t have salt – it will provide grip underfoot
Pay extra attention when clearing steps and steep pathways – using more salt helps
Think carefully about where you are going to place the snow – make sure it does not block a footpath or someone’s access to their drive
Useful numbers and guidance:
Snow Warden and Snow Plough Operators duties are listed in the Adverse Weather Plan on our website.
If snow is on the ground and the Snow Plough Operator can help clear local roads please co-ordinate your response through your local Snow Warden and your local Highways Snow Desk by phoning in and out as well as providing feedback to the highways teams on local conditions:
Cannop 01452 336098
Stroudwater 01452 336095
Moreton 01452 336096
Cirencester 01452 336097
Please do not use these number for general enquires – these numbers are only for snow plough operators or snow wardens.
Winter Action Plans – if your Parish or Town Council have one, please ensure these are annually reviewed with your Local Highways Managers. If you do not have a Winter Action Plan and you would like to discuss options then please contact your Local Highways Manager.
Grit bins and local supply of bagged salt – empty bins can be reported to highways but we can only refill when resources are available. The highways team would be happy to work with Parish and Town Councils to assist local volunteers to deal with these and would be happy to provide a supply of bagged salt if suitable storage arrangements are available.
Cllr Vernon Smith