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17 December 2010, 09:48
Gritters are on standby to keep the main roads clear if we do get snow. As much as 10cm could fall over the weekend.
Temperatures are expected to drown to -4 this evening and with Snow expected in Hampshire over the last shopping weekend before Christmas Hampshire County Council have told us as well as gritting the main roads they are also planning to re-focus its salting priorities to keep the town centres open for business.
Salting lorries will run continuously, from 6pm this evening, on the priority one routes and the roads will be salted as frequently as necessary over the weekend. Local highways offices will mobilise mini spreaders to target shopping centres early on Saturday morning (18 December). They will also be treating car parks early on Saturday morning. Additionally, the County Council is working with the district and borough councils across Hampshire to ensure there will be sufficient resources for clearing and salting pavements by hand.
In rural areas the County Council is planning salting runs to cover many the main routes and arrangements are in place with 120 farmers, equipped with snow ploughs, so they are ready for action as they are needed. The County Council's activity will be in addition to that of the Highways Agency whose responsibility it is to keep motorways and trunk roads open.
Councillor Mel Kendal, Executive Member for Environment, said: "We are grateful to our contractors and our partners at the district and borough councils for their assistance in keeping Hampshire moving as much as possible. Similarly the additional manpower provided by the countyâ€™s farmers, should it be needed, is equally appreciated. The likelihood of prolonged snow and icy conditions across the nation, understandably, will give rise to concerns about salt stocks but we are managing our stocks carefully. We have learned lessons from last winter and are working with our term highways maintenance contractors, Amey, to arrange for our stocks to be replenished from further sources abroad.."
Over 1000 new, blue salt bins have been placed in community locations around the county to enable communities to help themselves to keep pavements and roads safe when the weather turns to snow and ice.
When it comes to clearing snow and ice from residentsâ€™ own paths and driveways, the Government has said there is no law to stop this and is encouraging people to do so with care.
Hampshire Police have issued this Driving Information
If you must travel:
1. Prepare yourself for your journey – first ask if your journey is really necessary. If it is, pack warm clothes, food, hot drinks, a fully charged mobile phone and a shovel. Tell someone where you are going and when you expect to arrive.
2. Prepare your vehicle for your journey – make sure your vehicle is well maintained, clear of snow and ice and that your tyres are at the correct pressure.
3. Drive safely – keep your distance, avoid hard braking or acceleration and steer gently. If you skid, ease off the accelerator, and try and avoid braking hard.
4. Winter sun is also extremely bright and dazzling, so always keep a pair of sunglasses in the car and on long journeys ensure you take regular breaks as tiredness can kill.
You can check which roads are on which priority salting routes using a map or postcode here