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Getting to Grips With Icy Weather Conditions in King's Sutton

December 18th, 2011

Now that wintry weather is well and truly upon us, and local roads and footpaths are turning into ice rinks overnight, it seems appropriate to remind King's Sutton residents of the provisions made by local government for our safety.

Northamptonshire County Council (NCC) is responsible for gritting most of the highways in the county. The council provides detailed mapping of the roads it plans to grit (see below) but emphasises that you should never assume a road has been gritted. (Very occasionally gritting arrangements do not go to plan, and the majority of minor roads in the county will receive no treatment at all.)

If ice and/or snow are forecast, NCC prioritises all A roads together with certain B roads and some other roads for gritting. The council refers to these roads as the "precautionary network" (P1). The aim is to treat Priority 1 (P1) roads before the morning peak traffic time, though the target time for action otherwise depends on forecast and conditions.  The P1 precautionary treatment network is 45% of the total road network. 

The "adverse network" (P2) covers certain links to villages not on the precautionary network (P1) along with certain bus routes and industrial estates. Where the weather forecast indicates that the temperature is unlikely to rise above freezing within the next 48 hours, gritting will be carried out on the Priority 2 (P2) network only if the Priority 1 (P1) network does not require further treatment. 

Trunk/major roads (eg, A43, A5, M1, etc) are gritted by the Highways Agency. 

To view/download a map of NCC's priority gritting routes (plus comprehensive advice on dealing with winter driving conditions), click here.

To view NCC's interactive map of the streets it grits in King's Sutton, click here

Footpaths
Salt bins provided by NCC can be used by the public to help keep the roads and pavements clear. However, the salt is not intended for use on private drives. If you find a bin which needs refilling please telephone Street Doctor on 0845 601 1113. There is no law stopping you from clearing snow and ice on the pavement outside your property, pathways to your property or public spaces. 

Tips and advice on clearing snow and ice:

  • Start early – it’s much easier to clear fresh, loose snow compared to compacted ice that has been compressed by people walking on it.
  • Don’t use hot water – this will melt the snow, but may replace it with black ice, increasing the risk of injury.
  • Be a good neighbour – some people may be unable to clear snow and ice on paths from their property.
  • If shovelling snow, think where you are going to put it so that it doesn’t 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.
  • Spreading some salt on the area you have cleared will help stop ice forming – table salt or dishwasher salt will work, but avoid spreading on plants or grass as they may be damaged.
  • Pay particular care and attention to steps and steep gradients.
  • Use the sun to your advantage – 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 it refreezing overnight.
  • If there’s no salt available, sand or ash are good alternatives.
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