With a cold and frosty week forecast, Hampshire Highways teams are out, round the clock, keeping the county moving as temperatures drop.
Winter teams have completed over 50 salt runs so far this winter; out morning, noon and evening yesterday, ahead of the Monday morning rush hour, and preparing for at least two more runs today (Monday 5 February).
Councillor Rob Humby, Executive Member for Environment and Transport at Hampshire County Council said, “I’d ask people to take care when they are out and about, to drive according to the weather conditions at all times, and to be patient around salting lorries. Keeping the main roads free of ice will take priority for our highways teams this week. With the likelihood of almost continuous salt runs, some routine road repairs may need to be postponed, although emergencies will always be treated as such and made safe as a matter of urgency.”
“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 the pavements or smaller access roads not covered by the highways crews can make a big impact on frozen and icy surfaces.
There are thousands of blue or yellow salt bins across Hampshire for community use. 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. One tablespoon of salt (20 grams) is sufficient to treat one square metre of road or pavement surface.
Highways teams constantly monitor weather conditions using local forecasting and roadside weather sensors to ensure salt is spread at the optimum time. Road surface and air temperatures, wind speed and direction, rainfall, and ice formation are all important factors to consider in putting the winter fleet to work. Roads are 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 but 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.
More information is available on gritting routes and where to find the nearest community salt bin, as well as information on Hampshire’s winter service
For the latest information on when the winter fleet is set to salt Hampshire roads, follow @hantshighways on Twitter.