Responsibility for salting and gritting roads and pavements rests with West Sussex County Council, however they have to prioritise when the weather deteriorates. The Town Council, with a small dedicated outdoor services team, plays a significant role in co-ordinating and addressing specific issues on the ground.
The aim of the East Grinstead Winter Management Plan is on maintaining access to Town Centre pavements and its surrounding areas and ensuring that people can safely move about in the main areas of the Town.
East Grinstead, being north of the high Weald and with hilly terrain, suffers from very different weather patterns than the bulk of the District south of the Weald. It is generally 1 or 2 degrees colder and driving conditions tend to be worse at periods of heavy snow and ice as a result of undulating terrain.
West Sussex County Council
WSCC treats 1,600km of the county’s roads as part of their precautionary salting network.
Using their interactive map, you can view a map of their permanent gritting routes, coloured by priority.
Please note: The system only provides information about whether a road is on a gritting route and does not tell you whether the roads will be or have been gritted.
You can see if their gritters will be in operation by following them on Twitter via the How we decide when to grit roads page.
West Sussex County Council does not undertake any of the following.
- Hand treat footways / cycle ways or precincts
- Treat private, third party or non-highway land.
- Refill salt bins / replace Hippo Bags when stocks are critical.
Technically, most footpaths are considered part of the highway and so fall under the remit of County Councils. When snow or ice is forecast West Sussex County Council salt the priority routes in West Sussex and are unable to hand treat any pavements.
East Grinstead Town Council
To assist the community the Town Council purchased a Tracmaster walk behind motorised snow plough and brush and a Glasdon manual gritter for use on the Town Centre’s pavements, steps and bridges.
East Grinstead Town Council provides 68 grit bins around the town and West Sussex County Council refill the salt bins before the start of winter only.
West Sussex County Council will not refill empty bins and the Town Council are only able to assist once the pavement clearance has been completed and if stocks allow.
Once the bad weather arrives, the salt/grit is there for residents to use on the highways (not private roads drives or access points as these are private land and you should purchase grit or salt for this). The salt should be used sparingly as a little goes a long way. Town Council officers are not available to come and spread this salt for you as there will be other pressing jobs to be done. Please be neighbourly and use the salt/grit as it is intended.
It was decided during the Amenities and Tourism Meeting that the Town Council will not provide any additional grit bins after December 2013. Due to the increasing number of grit bins it can take up to 4 days to refill them which is a strain on our limited resources.
- You do not need to carpet an area with grit to achieve the desired effect. ‘Dusting’ the grit sparingly from a shovel will achieve the same effect.
- Remember if you use all the grit in one area, others will be without.
- Grit can be purchased from local building merchants and DIY Store
The Town Council have no stocks of grit to deliver if you do not have a grit bin.
Department for Transport Snow Code
Advice from GOV.UK on clearing snow and ice from public highways.
You can clear snow and ice from pavements yourself. There is no law against people clearing pavements or public spaces. The government have repeatedly welcomed “public-spiritedness” and said “common sense” and “benefit of the doubt” should always prevail when considering litigation. A court would have to deem someone as having been “wholly incompetent or irresponsible” for another to successfully sue them for injury.
How and when to clear snow and ice from a road, path or cycleway:
- do it early in the day – it’s easier to move fresh, loose snow
- don’t use water – it might refreeze and turn to black ice
- use salt if possible – it will melt the ice or snow and stop it from refreezing overnight (but don’t use the salt from salting bins as this is used to keep roads clear)
- you can use ash and sand if you don’t have enough salt – it will provide grip underfoot
- pay extra attention when clearing steps and steep pathways – using more salt may help
The District Council has provided equipment to enable local volunteers to clear ice and snow from Highway pavements.
Volunteers will be loaned official Mid Sussex District Council equipment
- snow shovel
- Hat & gloves
- Hi-Viz vest & ice grippers
Volunteers will be required to
- Complete a declaration confirming you are physically fit & over 18
- Wear the Hi-Viz vest for the whole period of work on pavements
- To prevent pedestrians slipping on ice you will be required to salt/grit areas that have been cleared
- Volunteers are issued with a risk assessment record for work activities undertaken.
Severe weather conditions can be life threatening, especially to those who are less likely to be able to look out for themselves. During these times, you can help your more vulnerable neighbours by calling in on them to check that they are warm, well and have sufficient food supplies.
People who may be able to help with snow clearance
There is currently no Local Farmer / Contractor contracted by WSCC to clear any additional designated routes in East Grinstead.
‘What If You Can Make a Difference’ Community Volunteer Training
In partnership with our Emergency Planning colleagues in the District/Boroughs, County Resilience & Emergencies Team and Highways support communities with existing Local Winter Resilience Plans and work with groups in developing new plans to make sure they are fully prepared for an extreme weather event.
Local Farmers and Contractors Agreements
Pre-arranged financial contribution: In line with national standards, agreed with the NFU, WSCC will provide £35 per hr towards local farmers / contractors to:
- Carry out precautionary salting to local roads identified in the Local Farmers and Contractors Agreement as a result of a WSCC notification in advance of a significant snow event.
- Clear snow as a result of a significant snow event, from local roads identified in the Local Farmers and Contractors Agreement and whose activities have been activated through the agreed Trigger Mechanism
Please Note: In order to claim funding Farmers or Contractors must be covered by their own Public Liability Insurance at the date they carry out the work.
The Met Office Information: Keep safe during winter
Get Ready for Winter Campaign www.metoffice.gov.uk/barometer/get-ready-for-winter