3 November 2016

Winter is coming... Are you ready?

With winter just around the corner the staff at Brighton & Hove City Council are preparing for severe weather conditions.   

Keeping the city safe and moving during severe weather is a huge operation, which takes year round planning, and ranges from ploughing and gritting up to 191 miles of roads and pavements, to protecting the most vulnerable in the city.

At the Hollingdean depot, the council’s seven gritters and seven ploughs are standing by, ready to head out to cover all the city’s main roads and bus routes if the temperatures dip below freezing, as they did this week for the first time this winter.

When temperatures drop the council will pre-salt the roads to prevent ice or frost forming. Pre-salting does not stop the snow from settling unless it is fine sleet, but it helps with ploughing the snow from the roads.

There is approximately 1,100 km (687 miles) of pavement in the city so we can only clear main thoroughfares if it snows. Grit bins are provided at 420 of the coldest, steepest parts of the city for anyone to make use of. However, residents are asked to use sparingly as the bins will only be refilled during very severe winter conditions.

We have 1500 tonnes of salt, including a contingency supply at Shoreham Harbour held for us by our contractor. We rotate our stock at Hollingdean Depot so what wasn’t used last year will be used first this year. Any savings from the winter budget are placed into a contingency fund to cover the high costs incurred during severe winters particularly when snowfall occurs

You can find a map on the council website which shows the main gritting routes and grit bin locations. 

The council’s winter service team also supports residents and community groups, who want to set up schemes to support one another during severe weather.

We encourage residents to keep an eye on elderly and vulnerable people who may have needs around food, medicine or care. Why not pop in now and introduce yourself? Our adult social care team can help if they have problems getting the services they need.

Councillor Gill Mitchell, chair of the Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee, said: “The council is gearing up to be prepared for winter but in cases of severe weather we need your help too.  It’s important that we support each other during severe winter weather such as clearing paths and checking on elderly neighbours.”

For more information, and to find out how you can help your community visit our winter weather page.