Taking precautions and keeping safe
During snow and freezing weather the Council's gritting priority is to ensure that the primary routes (i.e. main traffic and bus routes etc.) are kept free of snow and ice. This year the Council has increased the number of roads included in its primary gritting routes, particularly in the vicinity of schools.
Where possible, generally during periods of snowfall the Council will seek to grit footways in areas of high pedestrian activity, shopping centres, train stations, etc. You can check which streets are going to be gritted.
Before snow or ice
- If you have to make a journey when snow is forecast, make sure you have warm clothes, food, water, boots, a torch and spade, and let someone know when you expect to arrive, and your route. Try to wait until the roads have been gritted before travelling.
- Put grit or cat litter on paths and driveways to lessen the risk of slipping on compacted snow.
- Check on vulnerable neighbours.
During snow or ice
- Avoid travel if possible.
- If you must drive, check the Highway Code for advice on driving in ice and snowy weather.
- If you go outside, wear several layers of clothing and keep dry to prevent loss of body heat.
- Watch out for signs of hypothermia; uncontrollable shivering, slow/slurred speech, memory lapse and drowsiness and signs of frostbite; loss of feeling in and pale appearance of fingers, toes, nose and ear lobes. Keep moving your arms and legs to help the blood circulate.
- The Council would welcome residents' assistance with clearing snow. The Government has published the following advice "There's no law stopping you from clearing snow and ice on the pavement outside your home or from public spaces. It is unlikely you'll be sued or held legally responsible for any injuries on the path if you have cleared it carefully. Follow the snow code when clearing snow and ice safely."
After snow and ice
- Be careful when walking or driving on compacted snow - it may have turned to ice.
- Take care when shovelling snow. Cold air makes it harder to work and breathe, which adds some extra strain on the body and can be the cause of heart attacks in the vulnerable.