Since the start of 2019 the County Council’s winter fleet has spread approximately 3,450 tonnes of salt to treat more than 40,000 miles of road, almost as far as driving twice around the Earth!
Councillor Rob Humby, Executive Member for Environment and Transport at Hampshire County Council, said: “Hampshire Highways teams are on 24-hour standby, seven days a week, from 1 October right through until the end of April, to deal with winter conditions and ensure that Hampshire keeps moving, whatever the weather.
“The teams use detailed Hampshire-specific weather forecasts in combination with real time information from electronic roadside weather stations to make decisions about the best time to salt the roads, where to salt and how much salt to use. Forecast road surface and air temperatures, wind speed and direction, rainfall, and ice formation are all important factors in putting the winter fleet to work, which can sometimes be a round-the-clock operation.”
The County Council’s 43 state-of-the-art gritter vehicles are fitted with the latest technology to ensure salting is accurate and efficient, and this includes full GPS guidance and automatic salt delivery.
Roads are normally treated with salt before temperatures drop to freezing to try to stop frost and ice forming.
Highways crews will always salt Hampshire’s main roads first. These ‘Priority one’ routes cover approximately one third of the county road network and carry the majority of Hampshire’s traffic. They cover A roads, some B roads, major bus routes, roads to hospitals and other key emergency hubs, large schools and colleges, areas of high traffic concentration and public transport interchanges.
During periods of prolonged severe weather, ‘Priority two’ routes, which include remaining B roads and single access roads to villages, may also be treated. Maps of priority gritting routes can be found at: https://maps.hants.gov.uk/highwayssaltroutes
Across Hampshire there are more than 3,000 blue or yellow bins filled with salt and/or grit for use by the community on public roads and pavements. For more information about where these grit bins are, how to get them topped up, or how to report a damaged or missing grit bin visit the County Council’s web pages.
Everyone should be ready to adapt the way they drive in winter when the conditions can make driving more hazardous – RoSPA has some helpful winter driving tips.
Follow the County Council’s ‘gritter twitter’ @HantsHighways to find out when and where the salting lorries are going out, throughout winter.
Further information is available on Hampshire roads during severe weather
In addition to the preparations to keep Hampshire moving during the cold weather, Councillor Patricia Stallard, Hampshire County Council’s Executive Member for Health and Public Health, is asking the public to keep an eye on those who may be particularly vulnerable to the cold, such as the very young or old, and those with certain medical conditions.
She said: “It’s important for everyone to look after themselves in the cold weather, but particularly so for people who are more vulnerable to suffering ill health in low temperatures, such as babies and very young children (under 5 years), older people (75+ years) and people with pre-existing medical conditions such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or diabetes."
If anyone is worried about an elderly neighbour or relative, they should call Hampshire County Council’s Adults’ Health and Care team on 0300 555 1386, during the week in working hours (8.30am to 5pm, Monday to Thursday, 8.30am to 4.30pm Friday), or call 0300 555 1373 out of hours and on weekends and Bank Holidays: or visit the web pages for more information: https://www.hants.gov.uk/socialcareandhealth/adultsocialcare/contact