The new fleet of winter gritters will be blasting water from road surfaces before spreading a layer of salt, as road surface temperatures are forecast to drop below zero.
Thousands of community salt bins have been re-filled across Hampshire, ready for a cold spell. Salt from these bins are for use on public roads and pavements, and can be particularly useful to ‘join up’ salting from the main road, carried out by Hampshire County Council salting vehicles, to smaller access roads or on the pavements.
Councillor Rob Humby, Executive Member for Environment and Transport at Hampshire County Council said: “I would ask people to take care when they’re out and about during this busy time leading up to Christmas; to drive according to the weather conditions at all times, even on the roads that have been salted, and to be patient around salting lorries. If footways are icy, everyone can help in their neighbourhoods by using the salt bins. Spreading a small amount of salt from the community salt bins on pavements or smaller access roads not covered by the highways crews will make a big impact on frozen and icy surfaces.”
One tablespoon of salt (20 grams) is sufficient to treat one square metre of road or pavement surface. Salting lorries across Hampshire treat the roads on a priority basis: priority one routes carry the majority of traffic of Hampshire and include A roads, some B roads, major bus routes, roads to emergency services, large schools and public transport areas. These roads carry around 85% of the traffic in Hampshire.
Taking extra care during cold weather is important for everyone, but particularly for people who are more vulnerable to suffering ill health due to the cold, such as babies and very young children (under 5 years), older people (75+ years), and people with pre-existing medical conditions. Residents are also being asked to look out for vulnerable neighbours during the cold weather.
Councillor Patricia Stallard, Hampshire County Council’s Executive Member for Health and Public Health, added: “Keeping warm is particularly important for older people, the very young, and those with long-term medical conditions, who all need to take extra care to stay healthy. It’s also important that we all look out for our elderly neighbours or relatives during cold weather, as they may need extra help or support at this time of year.”
If anyone is worried about an elderly neighbour or relative, they should call Hampshire County Council’s Adult’s Health and Care team on 0300 555 1386, during the week in working hours, or call 0300 555 1373 out of hours and on weekends and Bank Holidays.
Top tips from Public Health on staying warm and well during the cold snap include:
• Keep Warm - heat your home to at least 18 degrees C (65F), if you can. If you can’t heat all the rooms you use, heat the living room during the day, and your bedroom just before you go to bed
• Eat well - food gives you energy, which helps to keep you warm so try to have regular hot meals and hot drinks throughout the day
• Keep an eye on elderly or frail relatives, friends and neighbours