Bristol Snow Clearing Advice

With snow forecast if only for a light shower, the council is highlighting its snow plan – designed to help the city function with as little disruption as possible if heavy snow is forecast.

The Snow Plan is available on the website www.bristol.gov.uk/snow . It includes interactive maps, snow clearing advice, important telephone numbers, gritting updates, transport updates, waste collection updates and school closures.

A modest army of volunteer Snow Wardens is helping the council prepare for winter this year. Twenty-five sites have been identified where steep hills and tricky corners make winter life extra difficult for local residents if it snows heavily.

Working with friends and neighbours, wardens have already volunteered in most of the target areas to ensure icy areas are cleared and salted, and to arrange basic checks on elderly or vulnerable neighbours.

At the 25 sites where snow wardens are appointed, shovels and hi-viz tabards are provided by the council free of charge.

Elsewhere in the city, 750 grit bins have been placed at strategic locations for community use. Information on their location can be found on the interactive map on the snow pages on the website (above).

Residents across the city are encouraged to work together to clear pavements of snow and ice and check in on elderly and vulnerable neighbours. Concerns about elderly or vulnerable people can be reported to Care Direct 0117 9222700.

Councillor Tim Kent, Executive Member for Transport, said: “There’s a tremendous community spirit out there. Our enquiries about snow wardens met with an overwhelmingly positive response.

“This year, we’re getting the right tools out there for the community to do the job. We’ve reached out to neighbourhoods with very steep hills and slippery corners to try to ensure an official warden presence to oversee snow preparations. Elsewhere in the city, we’re encouraging a similar neighbourly approach in a more informal way.”

Snow clearing advice

  • 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 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 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.

Grit and gritting information

Current stock is 1580 tonnes comprising 990 tonnes at Hartcliffe depot and 510 tonnes at Sea Mills depot.  In addition, there are 80 tonnes at Dovercourt depot for separate use off the highway during severe weather conditions.  Further salt may be required during the winter and the council is identifying supplies ahead of any possible weather disruption. 

Gritting routes

Eight vehicles will grit 14 major routes, ensuring main traffic and public transport can access the city centre. A further two vehicles will focus on routes to school and other additional problem areas.

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