Northamptonshire County Council

Page last updated 01 July 2015

Snow Clearance

We aim to clear roads in priority as soon as conditions permit, and clearance work will continue as necessary.

In certain extreme conditions it may be necessary to spread a mixture of salt and grit to achieve traction, particularly in the case of compacted snow.

Ploughing of snow is carried out to prevent accumulation or to clear snow. We have sufficient snow ploughs at our disposal to equip every gritter that we use.

Snow clearance involves implementing extensive emergency plans and includes the mobilisation of resources all aimed at clearing roads affected in the shortest time possible.

If snow falls are particularly heavy it is likely that the services of a number of farmers, agricultural contractors and plant hire companies who are known to be suitably equipped to assist will be called upon.

Tips and advice on clearing snow and ice

  • Start early - it’s much easier to clear fresh, loose snow than compacted ice that has been compressed by people walking on it.
  • Don’t use hot water - this will melt the snow, but may replace it with black ice, increasing the risk of injury.
  • Be a good neighbour - some people may be unable to clear snow and ice on paths from their property.
  • If you are shovelling snow, think where you are going to put it so that it doesn’t block people’s paths or drainage channels.
  • Make a pathway down the middle of the area to be cleared first, so you have a clear surface to walk on.
  • Spreading some salt on the area you have cleared will help stop ice forming - table salt or dishwasher salt will work, but avoid spreading on plants or grass as they may be damaged.
  • Pay particular care and attention to steps and steep gradients.
  • Use the sun to your advantage - removing the top layer of snow will allow the sun to melt any ice beneath; however you will need to cover any ice with salt to stop it refreezing overnight. 
  • If there’s no salt available, sand or ash are good alternatives.

Back to: main Winter service page

Bookmark with:

© 2013 Northamptonshire County Council