Councillor Rob Humby, Executive Member for Environment and Transport at Hampshire County Council, said: “With snow forecast from Saturday afternoon and into the night, our highways teams will be setting out tonight on the first of a number of salt runs to make sure Hampshire’s main roads are treated and ready for traffic.
“Our farmers, who certainly did a fantastic job at the beginning of the month, have been alerted to the forecast and are to put the snow ploughs on their tractors again, to be ready to clear roads as necessary."
"Thousands of community salt bins are ready for people to help keep public footpaths free of ice and snow. Only a small amount of salt is needed to treat reasonably large areas.
"At the moment, it looks like the worst of the weather will be with us on Saturday night, so please heed travel advice and local weather forecasts before deciding whether to travel, be properly prepared and leaving more times for journeys.”
Hampshire Highways teams will have extra crews on standby throughout the weekend.
The winter fleet will set out at 7pm tonight (Friday 16 March), return to the depots, fit ploughs, and set out on more runs on Saturday.
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; covering 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 cold weather, people who may be particularly vulnerable to the cold, such as the very young or old, and those with certain medical conditions, will need to take extra care.
Councillor Patricia Stallard, Hampshire County Council’s Executive Member for Health and Public Health, said: “Taking extra care during cold weather is important for everyone, but particularly important 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 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.
Further information on Hampshire roads during severe weather
For the latest information on when the winter fleet is set to salt Hampshire roads, and information on roads affected by bad weather, follow @hantshighways on Twitter
Further information about salt bins
ROSPA has some good advice on safe winter driving.