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Hampshire braced for winter
5:26pm Friday 26th October 2012 in News
With the region braced for its first frosts of the winter this weekend road bosses have pledged that they are well prepared.
Hampshire County Council say salt barns are full with enough salt for 15 days continuous round-the-clock salting.
It added that 3,000 community salt bins are filled, salting routes have been checked and 100 farmers are at the ready with snow ploughs.
Amey, the county’s highway maintenance partner, has replaced eight old spreaders with new ones navigated by GPS, a technology that makes very efficient use of salt by tracking the progress of the lorries in real time.
Round-the-clock monitoring of road surface temperatures and weather forecasts means that winter highways teams are ready to treat roads in advance of temperatures plummeting.
Hampshire has 5,600 miles of road and a priority system has to be used so that available resources are used effectively Priority 1 routes carry 85% of total traffic in Hampshire and include A roads, major bus routes, roads to major emergency services, areas of high traffic concentration and all public transport areas.
These Priority 1 routes are routinely treated when the road surface temperature is forecast to drop below 0oC.
Priority 2 routes include B roads and single access roads to villages and schools, as well as emergency and public services not already treated, while Community routes include roads to smaller schools, GP surgeries and areas of community activity. These routes are treated during periods of prolonged severe weather.
Councillor Mel Kendal, deputy leader and executive member for environment and transport, said: “We have made significant investment over the past three years to improve Hampshire’s road network and resilience to extreme weather.
“Our roads are a key foundation to the regional economy and it is vital that we keep main routes open so that people can carry on with their normal, day-to-day activities.
“We have successfully completed our annual trial runs of salting routes in advance of the winter period, and our winter monitoring systems are live.
We are committed to keeping Hampshire's roads open during the winter but if we do experience severe weather, I'd like to remind people to consider if their journey is absolutely necessary, and if so, to drive according to the weather conditions.
“Also to check the weather forecast before setting out and to park considerately so that the salting lorries are not obstructed when they are out treating the roads.
“Everyone can help in their community and ‘do their bit’ by treating the public paths, pavements and minor roads in their area with salt from community bins.”
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