24 May, 2017

Snow and Gritting

Wintry sunshine in Broughton 2010 (AGW)

Gritting is the responsibility of North Yorkshire County Council. It has 9,000km of roads running through 11 different climatic zones. The Highways Agency is responsible for some routes, eg the A64. For the other roads, NYCC operates a priority system which aims to keep the major routes treated and passable before any others are tackled. The B1257 is one of the priority routes.

There is extensive information to be found on the County Council’s website  under the gritting link.  The website includes webcams showing the conditions of many roads including Sutton Bank.

Leaflets giving advice,  including a map showing the priority routes,  are available but a copy can be found on-line  under “A guide to Winter Service in the Kirkbymoorside Area” – this area is now known as the Area 4 Highways.  Parish clerks may be provided with some leaflets.

Broughton only a priority 3 route

Broughton’s streets are only a priority 3.  These are gritted only if there are the resources to do so and the treatment is seen to have a lasting effect, that is a thaw is not expected in the next few hours. The choice of priority 3 runs is based on a number of issues, but mainly where the local Inspector feels the gritter would have the greatest effect.

Highways officers cannot be expected to know about bad conditions on local small routes so requests can be made for gritting, by individuals as well as Parish Councils/Meetings. This can be done by telephoning: Tel: 08458 727374; using the NYCC website or its general email address customer.services@northyorks.gov.uk, or by emailing the local office Area4.KirbyMisperton@northyorks.gov.uk.

Highways maintained salt bins and heaps

Minor routes are helped by the provision of salt bins or heaps for the public to use for the treatment of roads/footways. They are not provided for use on private property – to do could lead to bins/heaps not being replenished. Rock salt for personal use is usually available at local DIY stores/garages.

The Area 4Highways has over 3000 salt bins or heaps to maintain. Usually these are filled twice a year (first fill before November) but may also be refilled after prolonged very severe weather. If a particular bin is constantly being asked to be refilled, and there is evidence that the salt is being used indiscriminately or on private land, Highways can refuse to fill it or even remove the bin altogether. In exceptional circumstances Government restrictions over the use of salt and resources may mean they are cannot be refilled.

Broughton has two Highways-provided bins – one at the junction of Main Street with the B1257 and at the junction of Main Street with Manor Park.

Additional bins for parishes

There are strict criteria  (PDF, 24.4 kb) for the provision of salt bins.  Parish clerks should  apply to Highways for a bin if it was thought the site would meet the criteria.  Parishes can “buy” this service from the county council to provide additional ones where a location falls short of that criteria but locals feel there is a need for salting/gritting.

The cost for the actual 200kg green (or yellow) bin was £85 per bin.  The annual charge for two salt fills was £75 per bin.  If more re-fills are needed there could be a further charge.

Residents who feel an additional bin is required need to tell the parish clerk in writing so that it can be discussed at a parish meeting.  They then need to attend the meeting to support their request.

What can individuals do to help clear snow and ice from pavements and public spaces?

Highways give an assurance that there is no law preventing individuals clearing snow and ice on pavements outside their homes, pathways to their property or even public spaces. They advise it is very unlikely anyone would face any legal liability, as long as care and use common sense is used to ensure pavements/pathways are not left clearly more dangerous than before.

People using areas affected by snow and ice also have responsibility to be careful themselves.

They also suggest being a good neighbour: some people may be unable to clear snow and ice on paths leading to their property or the footway fronting their property.  Snowfall and cold weather pose particular difficulties for them gaining access to and from their property.

Practical advice from highway engineers is given on the NYCC website and among other things suggests:

• Start early – it is much easier to remove fresh, loose snow compared to compacted ice.

• Do not use hot water. This melts the snow, but may replace it with black ice.

• If shovelling snow, first think about where you are going to put it, so it does not block people’s paths or drainage channels.

• Make a pathway down the middle of the area to be cleared first, so you have a clear surface to walk on. Then you can shovel the snow from the centre to the sides.

• Spreading some salt on the area you have cleared will help prevent any ice forming. Table salt or dishwasher salt will work, but avoid spreading on plants or grass as they may be damaged by it.

• Particular care and attention should be given to steps and steep gradients to ensure snow and ice is removed. Additional salting may be needed.

• If no salt is available, sand or ash is a reasonable substitute. It will not have the same de-icing properties as salt but should offer grip under foot.

AGW 2011

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