Hampshire’s highways tackle zero temperatures ahead of morning rush hour

The first signs of winter have arrived for Hampshire’s highways teams as low temperatures in central Hampshire early this morning (Thursday 3 November 2016) called for the first salt run of the winter

Nov 3 2016

Salting lorries left the depots at 9pm last night to make sure salt was spread on the main roads where road surface temperatures were forecast to fall to zero, ahead of the morning rush hour.

Councillor Rob Humby, Executive Member for Environment and Transport at Hampshire County Council said: “We’re determined to keep Hampshire moving whatever the winter brings.  Highways teams are on standby 24 hours a day, ready to act when temperatures drop and there is a threat of ice on the roads.

“Round the clock monitoring of road and air temperatures, wind speed and direction, rainfall,  ice formation and local forecasts inform decisions about when to salt the roads, which routes to run and how much salt to use.  The weather has been fairly mild so far, but, with 25,000 tonnes of salt stocked in salt barns across the county, we’re certainly ready for the cold.”

Temperatures and conditions can vary significantly even within one county, so, winter teams look at three distinct weather bands: north, central and coastal. This helps decide when and where to put the winter fleet to work.

Hampshire’s 5,300 miles of roads are salted on a priority basis. ‘Priority One’ routes carry the majority of Hampshire’s traffic and include A roads, some B roads, major bus routes, roads to major emergency services such as hospitals, large schools and colleges, areas of high traffic concentration and public transport interchanges. During prolonged severe weather, ‘Priority Two’ routes, which include remaining B roads and single access roads to villages, may also be treated.

Councillor Humby continued: “Everyone can help in their own communities during the winter, and use some of the salt in the blue or yellow bins to spread on public roads or pavements.  This is useful for areas which aren’t covered by the main salting routes such as smaller access roads or on the pavements to the local school.”

You can find out more about priority routes and where to find your nearest salt bin on this map: www.hants.gov.uk/roads/weather-on-roads/salting

Please drive safely during the winter as conditions can be more difficult. RoSPA has some helpful winter driving tips