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8 August 2010, 06:00
It may only be August, but Buckinghamshire County Council's already thinking about snow and grit.
It's done a review of its Winter Maintenance Strategy - to see what worked well last winter and what could be done better if there's another big freeze.
Ideas include reviewing salting routes so they cover places like bus depots and waste sites, working more closely with neighbouring councils so there's more consistency with which roads are salted, working with local farmers to help clear more minor roads and giving members of the public practical help with clearing paths and roads.
The review has also found there is more that communities and individuals can do to prepare for the bad weather, and that a 'self-help' approach needs to be encouraged.
Tim Fowler - from Transport for Buckinghamshire - told Heart:
"Local residents can take action themselves in clearing footways and areas of side road. There has always been a fear of litigation, but providing people are clearing footways and roadways in a sensible way and they certainly make it no worse than it was before they cleared the ice or snow, they need fear no action being taken against them."
Other ideas which have been put forward include drawing up a list of 4x4 drivers and vehicles which can be used during periods of bad weather, and encouraging council staff - who can't get in to work because of the snow - to visit elderly and vulnerable people in their communities.
At the start of this winter Buckinghamshire County Council expects to have access to around 12,500 tonnes of salt, and will be using a new spreading technique which means the supplies should last longer.