Clearing snow and ice from pavements


From the blog

Clearing snow and ice from pavements

Posted 7 December 2010 12:52 by martin

As I'm sure you'll remember, last Winter we had a lot of snow and ice across the UK, and not enough salt and grit to deal with the problem. This led to a number of local authorities having to concentrate on main roads, and not clearing quieter roads and pavements as much as we all would have liked.

We've already had our first flurry of wintery weather, with more likely over the coming weeks, so how do we make sure we can still get around by foot safely? Living Streets has suggested that councils should co-ordinate community volunteers to take charge of clearing the pavements and making them safer to walk on. You can read more about their campaign, and how you can get involved here.

Icy street

Even without a group of volunteer snow wardens in your area, you can still do your bit and clear the snow in front of your house or workplace. Some folks are worried that if they clear snow from outside their house and someone slips on it, then they will be liable. THIS IS NOT THE CASE! There is no law stopping you from clearing snow and ice from the pavement in front of your property, or from public spaces. But before doing so, you should read this advice from Directgov on how best to do it. And if you have elderly or vulnerable neighbours, why not clear their driveways and paths at the same time. If everyone on your street does the same, then your pavement should remain safe for you and other pedestrians.

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  1. Andrew Fraser says:

    December 10th, 2010 at 8:57 am (#)

    When clearing a footway, remember the crossfall. It would have been better if the picture above showed the snow cleared from the wall at the high side – even if the full width wasn't cleared.

    This helps to prevent icing when there's a thaw followed by a further freeze, as there will be little or no melt water to flow across the cleared area and re-freeze.

    (Keeping the footway clear when there's freezing fog around is much more difficult, and this is what worries me. Salt's the only answer.)

    It's also useful if gutters and gullies are kept clear to allow the meltwater to flow away freely.

    Pity there's so little interest in clearing footways now – I'm sure there was a bye-law in Edinburgh at one time, and wonder if that's what's needed.

    Extraordinary to think that we need “snow wardens” now – what nonsense. Just do it!

  2. Spiny Norman says:

    January 3rd, 2011 at 11:09 am (#)

    Dishwasher salt is cheap (£1.05 for 2Kg at our Co-op) and very easy to do for those who are not as young as they were.

    Even a man can do it, to continue the sexism that seems so popular here.

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