Snow - Community Self Help

When we experience disruptive snow, West Sussex County Council’s gritting lorries work around the clock to keep the main transport links open, but where does that leave the majority of us in Burgess Hill who live on roads that do not get automatically gritted?

Burgess Hill Town Council takes the lead on liaising with the County Council to deliver 1 Ton bags of salt to strategic points around our town for people to ‘self help’ by putting this salt on the footways and carriageways where they live. This is subject to the availability of the salt.

The Town Council also co-ordinates a small team of maintenance and office staff plus volunteers to respond to areas where more gritting is required, but these resources are limited and we cannot get to all of the roads in Burgess Hill.

This is where our community can get involved. If you and your neighbours struggle to get out of your road after heavy snow falls, have you considered jointly funding a grit bin that could be sited where you can all access it and manage the gritting in your immediate area?

For further information on purchasing a ‘grit bin’, please see below.

If you and your neighbours do decide to purchase your own grit bin, please let Burgess Hill Town Council know by calling the Help Point on 01444 247726 or emailing helppoint@burgesshill.gov.uk Your details will then be added to the list of other groups of residents who have already purchased their own bins and the Town Council will coordinate getting your grit bins filled, subject to salt availability.

 

What to do if you would like to buy a Grit Bin?

Grit bins are not provided by West Sussex County Council, however as part of ‘self help’ measures, residents can purchase grit bins to enable them to keep the road/path outside their properties treated during snow / ice conditions.

The County Council will fill the bin with grit when resources allow. However, they can not refill grit bins when grit stocks are critical. The grit is for use on the public highway (pavements/roads) as a form of self-help and is not meant for private driveways etc.

Dependent on where the grit bin is located, the following action is required:

– If the grit bin is to be located on private land, consult with your neighbours to check they are happy with the location and how it will be managed.

– If the grit bin is to be located on the public highway, permission is required from West Sussex County Council. £5m Public Liability Insurance will be required and renewed annually. When writing to West Sussex County Council you must include the location of where the bin is to be sited and how it will be managed, together with a copy of the Public Liability Insurance document.

– If the grit bin is to be located on district owned land, approval is required from Mid Sussex District Council. £5m Public Liability Insurance will be required and renewed annually. When writing you must include the location of where the bin is to be sited and how it will be managed, together with a copy of the Public Liability Insurance document.

Please note that in ALL cases, West Sussex County Council will need to be aware of the location of the bin so that they can add the bin location to the salt / grit schedule for filling.

 

Contact details for West Sussex County Council and Mid Sussex District Council

Mid Sussex District Council
Emergency Planning & Outdoor Services Manager
Oaklands
Haywards Heath
RH16 1SS
Tel: 01444 477374

West Sussex County Council
Winter Service Manager
Southern Area – Area Highways
Clapham
Worthing BN13 3UR
Tel: 01243 642105

 

Grit Bin examples

Grit Bins come in various sizes and can be purchased from companies such as Glasdon, see below examples including sizes, capacity and approximate costs, as of January 2019

Slimline™ Grit Bin
Capacity: 160ltr, Weight Capacity: 208kg (approx. 8 x 25kg bags of rock salt) Length: 838mm, Height: 750mm, Width: 515mm, Cost: approx. £178

Nestor™ 90 Grit Bin
Capacity: 90ltr, Weight Capacity: 125kg (approx. 18 x 25kg bags of rock salt) Length: 630mm, Height: 624mm, Width: 536mm, Cost: approx. £178

Orbistor™ Grit Bin
Capacity: 800ltr, Weight Capacity: 1000kg (approx. 40 x 25kg bags of rock salt) Height: 1075mm, Diameter: 1280mm, Cost: approx. £311

Rollastor™ Grit Bin
Capacity: 110ltr, Weight Capacity: 132kg (approx. 5 x 25kg bags of rock salt) Height: 945mm, Width: 550mm, Length: 480mm, Cost: approx. £187

Please note Burgess Hill Town Council cannot recommend companies and the above is purely an example.

 

Litigation

There’s no law stopping people from clearing snow and ice on the pavement outside their home or from public spaces. Its unlikely people will be sued or held legally responsible for any injuries on the path if they have cleared it carefully.

A snow-clearer does have a duty to clear with reasonable care so as not to create a new and worse risk. In a letter sent by the Ministry of Justice it stated that “The prospects of a person who volunteers to clear snow from a pavement being successfully sued for damages by a person who subsequently slips on the cleared area and is injured are very small”.

 

Top tips from West Sussex County Council:

– Start early – it’s much easier to clear fresh, loose snow compared to 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 shoveling 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 by it,
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.

 

Useful websites

www.gov.uk

www.westsussex.gov.uk