Salt barns are strategically placed across Hampshire and now fully stocked and ready for winter at Weyhill, Hook, Bishops Waltham, Totton, Micheldever, Dummer and Petersfield.
To mark the start of the winter season Hampshire County Council has now opened its biggest salt barn at Broadmarsh, based in Havant.
It holds 6,700 tonnes of salt in two barns, taking the County’s overall stock levels to 25,000 tonnes. This will give Hampshire plenty of resilience to help keep the County moving through the severest of winters – should it come.
Five major salt routes will run from Broadmarsh covering Havant, Waterlooville, Horndean, Hayling Island, Gosport and parts of Fareham.
Hampshire’s highways teams are on full alert from October to the end of April, ready to deal with wintery road conditions. 55 salting vehicles and snow ploughs have already been checked and are on stand-by, 4,000 community salt bins have been filled and weather and road conditions are now being monitored 24 hours a day seven days a week.
With 5,800 miles of road in Hampshire, highways teams treat them on a priority basis. ‘Priority One’ routes carry the majority of the total traffic in Hampshire and include A roads, some B roads, major bus routes, roads to major emergency services, large schools, areas of high traffic concentration and all public transport areas.
These Priority One routes are routinely treated when the road surface temperature is forecast to drop below zero degrees celsius and ice / frost is predicted. It can take approximately three hours to treat a Priority One route.
During prolonged severe weather, ‘Priority Two’ routes, which include remaining B roads and single access roads to villages, are treated. Additionally, community routes may also be treated to ensure roads to other smaller schools, GPs surgeries and areas of community activity are usable.
A number of factors are considered when deciding when to salt the roads, including a specially provided local weather forecast, and the Icelert system which consists of a number of roadside sensors which detect road and air temperatures, and conditions such as wind speed and direction, rainfall, and ice formation.
Hampshire County Council’s Executive Member for Economy, Transport and Environment, Councillor Seán Woodward said “Keeping the main roads clear and safe is a priority for the County Council, and this additional capacity at Broadmarsh puts Hampshire in a very good position when it comes to tackling wintery conditions.”
“Despite all our efforts to help people move around safely, I would like to remind people to drive according to the conditions throughout the winter, and, in times of severe weather, to think if their journeys are essential.”
“I would advise giving your car a winter check-up, as well as placing a spare pair of sturdy shoes, a blanket, shovel and a torch in your car in case of an emergency. I would also ask people to think about people in their local community and consider spreading salt from their nearest salt bin to help them and others move around local roads and pavements when they become icy.”
David Ogden, Account Director from Amey (Hampshire’s term highways maintenance partner), said: “We are committed to keeping the county moving, with preparations beginning months in advance of our teams starting winter service on 1 October. We have witnessed a variety of different weather conditions over the past few years, and using our experience have put plans in place to deal with these no matter what this winter throws at us. Opening a new salt barn at Broadmarsh provides us with further resilience to deliver the service efficiently.”
More information on winter maintenance here.
Members of the public can also get live updates of when and where road salting is taking place by following @hantshighways on Twitter.