Winter Weather Update - 31st January 2019

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Following the update to you yesterday, we have now received the forecast for Thursday from the Met Office which is indicating snow will arrive in Hampshire tomorrow afternoon from the South West, moving slowly towards the North East of the county through the night. 

Our winter fleet is working round the clock. We are expecting rain around 3pm, which will then turn to heavy snow for a few hours and, if the forecast is correct, more will arrive in the early hours of Friday morning. This is a challenge for the winter salting fleet, as any salt spread too early will be washed away so the 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.  We are starting preparations with a salt run tonight at 11pm, followed by more runs carried out in the morning and then lorries will be fitted with snowploughs for the afternoon runs. Farmers with snowploughs are on standby. 

We are asking 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 around three quarters 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 at: 

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. In view of the forecast snowfall, crews are out tonight doing emergency top-ups across the county.

One tablespoon of salt (about 20 grams) is enough to treat one square metre of road or pavement surface. 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

As ever I am extremely grateful to Hampshire Highways front line staff who are working round the clock to keep Hampshire moving.

Stuart Jarvis
Director of Economy, Transport and Environment   

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