1. Table of contents

In order to keep strategic and primary routes open during times of significant snowfall and to allow traffic to flow freely on these routes an Extreme Weather Plan (EWP) has been introduced. This will be brought into operation when continuous snow is forecast and likely to give significant accumulations in excess of 100mm over a substantial part of the Council area and expected to remain in untreated locations for a prolonged period before a natural thaw disperses it.

During snow conditions, when designated routes are likely to be affected by significant levels of lying snow, gritters will be deployed on these routes until satisfactory snow clearance has been achieved.

The formulated EWP will ensure that Strategic and primary routes are treated with priority. Instructions will be issued for work to proceed on the rest of the priority 1 carriageway, F1 footway and secondary carriageway and footway routes once the strategic routes and primary routes are in an acceptable condition.

This plan takes account of a number of factors which affect the removal of snow from carriageways and footways:

  • the temperature of the road surface
  • the timing of the snow
  • day or night
  • the volume of traffic using the roads
  • a pre-planned application of salt has been undertaken prior to the snow

Snow routes for carriageways

The plan is aimed at clearing around 250km of strategic and primary roads and recognises that the clearing and treatment of snow can take longer than standard gritting procedures due to lying snow requiring to be ploughed in both driving directions.

The snow routes target the most important roads within the network hierarchy i.e. strategic routes, main distributor routes and secondary distributor routes. These do not include all of those identified as priority C1 carriageway routes generally. This ensures that the gritting fleet can cope. Whilst ploughing is in operation salt should be spread at 20g/sqm over the ploughed area to prevent snow from compacting.

In exceptional circumstances when routes identified within the plan cannot be kept open, the Duty Manager may issue instructions to further prioritise the routes.

Treatment of carriageways in extreme snow conditions

The objective is to keep as much of the Network as safe and free flowing for traffic as possible. Priority will be given to:

  • Snow routes including approaches to hospitals, ambulance stations and other emergency services establishments
  • Remainder of the priority 1 gritting route
  • Priority 2 gritting routes including access roads leading to schools, care homes and train stations

Treatment and times

  • Precautionary salt treatment 24 hours per day
  • Treatment of snow 24 hours per day

As the snow falls treatment will commence and continue until the snow has been moved and is no longer accumulating on the road surface. Ploughing operations should start when the snow has reached a depth which can be ploughed. Prior to this treatment action will consist of salt spread at 20g/sqm.

Treatment of footways and pedestrian areas in extreme snow conditions

Treatment of snow on Priority F1 Footways will commence concurrently with the Carriageway Snow Route treatment. These routes may include areas of high pedestrian usage where risk to pedestrians from extreme weather is highest. Steps and ramps to underpasses and footbridges together with any 'low level' footpaths associated with the underpasses and the footpaths on the footbridges. A list of all Priority F1 footway routes will be held within the Winter Service Schedule and will be identified on the Council website.

Treatment and times

  • Precautionary salt treatment 24 hours per day
  • Treatment of snow 24 hours per day

Grit bags

In times of extreme weather it is not always possible to service grit bins due to their location.

Roads services will provide grit bags which will be supplied to locations which have already been identified for easy access and use by members of the public.

Should you have an enquiry regarding treatment of the road network during the periods of extreme weather, please contact us: