East Sussex County Council has set out what it will and will not do if snow and ice returns this winter.
It said last winter was a “challenge for everyone in the county”. The severe weather was arguably the worst for 30 years.
“If we experience similar weather this winter, it is crucial that we work together to maintain essential services,” the council said.
“Last year we helped transport staff to and from hospital, delivered hot meals to the most vulnerable using our four-wheel drive vehicles, worked with care home providers to ensure vulnerable and isolated people received vital care, and redirected staff to help in residential care homes.”
When snow and ice strikes the council will:
Deploy its fleet of 25 gritters to salt more than 840 miles of the top priority roads, with an extra 130 miles of secondary roads salted when snow is forecast. Every gritter carries up to nine tonnes of salt and puts down between five and nine tonnes on each route, depending on how severe the weather is.
The council will not: Salt footpaths and pedestrian precincts. It is reviewing the locations of grit bins and looking at providing salt storage bags at key locations, such as pedestrian precincts, during severe icy conditions.
The council said: “If you can, take steps to clear pavements of snow and ice outside your home or business, because whilst everyone would like their road and pavement gritted, we have to prioritise major roads rather than pavements to prevent the most serious accidents.
Councillor Matthew Lock, Lead Cabinet Member for Transport and Environment, added: “If you can, take sensible steps to clear the snow from outside your own property. There is no law preventing you from doing this and it’s very unlikely you would face any legal liability, as long as you are careful and use common sense.”
Listen to audio clip
Listen to Dale Foden, Head of Highway Operations, talking to Kathryn Langley, of the county council, about how much salt is in stock and other gritting facts and figures
Uckfield town councillor Jim Molesworth Edwards tells us the worst winter he remembers was in 1947. The snow began on January 20 and conditions were 'appalling' until the end of March. At the time Jim was at an engineering college in London. The next bad winter he remembers began on Boxing Day, 1962, and snow didn't clear until the end of February 1963. At that time Jim ran Ticehurst Motors. He recalls even Landrovers getting stuck that winter. “Councils didn't do anything about snow clearance in those days, even in London,” he said.