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Frequently asked questions - gritting

Why hasn't my road been gritted?

We grit roads on agreed pre-defined priority routes.

Why is there no grit in the bin?

All grit bins are checked and filled prior to the start of the winter season in the third week of October. A further single mid-season refill will be undertaken following snow, only once resources become available from clearing the priority 1 and 2 networks and other affected emergency responses such as pothole repair.

No adhoc re-filling will be undertaken

The grit has been provided for the sole purpose of treating the highway and is not for personal use. Misuse of the grit can lead to unnecessary shortages that can cause a danger to motorists.

If you require grit/salt for your own property, it can be bought from major builders' merchants or large garden centres.

Can I have a grit bin in my street?

We have a lot of requests for new grit bins across Surrey but we only have limited resources so we have to place them at strategic locations round the county where they will be most effective. Within the current budget restraints no additional grit bins are to be provided in 2013/14.

Additional bins may be provided at specific locations directly by county, borough or parish councillors. These bins will be purchased by money from their own budgets. If you know of a location that you feel should be considered, please contact your own local council representative.

You can see the location of grit/salt bins in Surrey on our interactive map.

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When will pavements be cleared of snow?

Our resources are focused on maintaining the road network as the main priority. As soon as we have staff available we will clear pavements in town centres and around hospitals.

Footways often clear without specific treatment by the time roads have been fully gritted to an appropriate standard. Other pavements will be cleared during particularly long periods of snow as soon as we have the resources to do so.

Why is the road still icy?

Sometimes it may be too cold for the salt to work on the road surface. Salt merely lowers the freezing point of moisture on the road. If the road temperature (not the air temperature) falls below minus 8 degrees Celsius the effectiveness of the salt diminishes and roads then remain icy.

We have sophisticated roadside monitoring equipment that enables our engineers to make the decision whether or not to grit together with the timing of the operation based on road and air temperatures, surface condition, wind and humidity. We are also linked to the Met Office and receive detailed forecasts throughout the day.

What should I do if a gritter was travelling too fast to be safe?

Please call us on 0300 200 1003 and tell us when and where this happened and we will investigate your concerns. For optimum salt spreading the gritters should travel at no more than 34mph (or within the speed limit for the road)

Can I make an insurance claim for a weather-related accident?

You may make a claim, but there is no guarantee that it will be paid. In order to protect public funds, we investigate all claims carefully, and the majority of these are likely to be turned down. All claims are assessed on an individual basis.

If you have an accident please call us on 0300 200 1003 and tell us your name, address, location of incident and give us as much information as possible. For further information go to Insurance claims against the council.

Can I clear ice and snow from pavementsand paths without fear of legal action?

You can help to make winter easier for everyone by clearing the ice and snow from pavements, around your business premises and outside yours or your neighbour's home if they need help. However, there are some important tips to bear in mind before you do this:

  • Do not use hot water: this will melt the snow, but will replace it with black ice, increasing the risk of injury.
  • Shovelling snow: use a shovel with the widest blade available, make a line down the middle of your path first, so you have a safe surface to walk on. Then you can simply shovel the snow from the centre to the sides.
  • Be careful not to create an obstruction that may cause a risk of injury: make sure that the mound of snow that remains after shovelling is placed at the side of the road and not on it. However, don't pile it too high or road users may not be able to see over it and accidents may happen.
  • Use salt: spread some ordinary table salt on the area you have cleared to prevent any ice forming. Ordinary salt works well and can be purchased cheaply from any local shop, but avoid spreading on plants or grass.
  • Use the sun to your advantage: simply removing the top layer of snow will allow the sun to melt any ice beneath, however you will need to cover any ice with salt to stop refreezing overnight.

Clearing snow in this way can be carried out without fear of legal action so long as no hazards are created which might cause damage or injury to other road users.

 

Can Surrey County Council provide grit to the public?

Surrey County Council do not supply or sell grit to the public. Grit can be purchased from builders merchants.

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  • Updated: 07 Jan 2013
  • Simon Mitchell
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Permalink: http://www.surreycc.gov.uk/view?a=184572

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