With the forecast of snow for Hampshire on Thursday afternoon and evening, the County Council’s highways teams are working round the clock to make sure the roads are prepared and ready to respond.
Councillor Rob Humby, Executive Member for Environment and Transport at Hampshire County Council, said:
“Our winter fleet is salting the main roads continuously now. We are doing everything we can to prepare for snow, but, if the forecast is correct, we are certainly going to have our work cut out. Rain is forecast from tomorrow afternoon, which will then turn to snow. This means that salt already on the roads may be washed away, and our winter fleet will have to start salting again as soon as the rain eases ahead of the freeze. We have 43 salting lorries and each route takes about three hours to complete.
“The forecast is for snow to arrive from the South West of Hampshire from about 5pm which will, therefore, impact on normal rush hour time. We could be in for a few hours of heavy snow, and, if the forecast is correct, more in the early hours of Friday. We would ask everyone who travels on Hampshire’s roads to think about their travel arrangements, be prepared for bad weather and either try to avoid travelling where practical or to plan their journeys carefully if they need to be out and about tomorrow evening.”
Highways crews 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. They cover 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 periods of prolonged severe weather, ‘Priority two’ routes, which include remaining B roads and single access roads to villages, may also be treated, if we can keep the main roads clear and open. Maps of priority gritting routes can be found here.
Across Hampshire there are more than 3,000 blue or yellow bins filled with salt and/or grit for use by the community on public roads and pavements. For more information about where these grit bins are, how to get them topped up, or how to report a damaged or missing grit bin visit the County Council’s web pages.
Everyone should be ready to adapt the way they drive in winter when the conditions can make driving more hazardous – RoSPA has some helpful winter driving tips.
Follow the County Council’s ‘gritter twitter’ @HantsHighways to find out when and where the salting lorries are going out, throughout winter.
Further information is available on Hampshire roads during severe weather