Snow and Ice Plan
The aim of this plan is to enhance safe pedestrian and traffic access to amenities and services and to prevent isolation of parishioners during periods of severe winter weather.
2. The snow warden scheme
Devon County Council’s programme of winter service (i.e. roads which are to be salted) is extensive but their focus is on the major routes which carry the most traffic. This sometimes means smaller communities don’t receive as much help as they would like.
Through its snow warden scheme, launched in 2011 following extreme weather in the two preceding winters, Devon County Council (DCC) offers support to parish councils whose communities wish to come together to help each other, on a voluntary self-help basis, during times of extreme weather.
The scheme provides a valuable additional resource on top of the winter service the county council provides and enables roads to be cleared which DCC’s gritters are unable to cover. Parish councils know what their own priorities are in terms of maintaining access to their community buildings and primary schools and they are able to determine their own particular local need. More than 325 towns and parishes in Devon have snow wardens in place as part of their self-help plans in case the county is hit by prolonged severe weather.
3. Snow wardens
Snow wardens are appointed by, and work on behalf of, the parish council. They act as the key point of contact between the local community and Devon County Council and provide vital support to the authority’s winter service. The role is primarily one of co-ordination but it also provides traceability regarding DCC’s public liability insurance by delivering training to community volunteers and through keeping a register of who they are.
Snow wardens are registered with Devon County Council and receive advice and safety training on how to clear snow and spread salt effectively directly from DCC.
DCC’s snow warden training will:
· outline DCC’s winter maintenance role
· discuss the benefits of a voluntary self-help scheme
· consider the legal implications
· consider a model for setting up a voluntary self-help scheme
· consider how voluntary work should be carried out in a safe and responsible manner
· consider the purchase, storage and use of salt supplies and winter maintenance equipment
· empower the designated snow warden to be able to set up a voluntary self-help scheme and to recruit, register and deliver training to community volunteers
· consider when a self-help scheme should be implemented.
Once trained, the snow wardens are then responsible for training and managing a team of local snow warden volunteers.
Snow wardens’ other duties include:
· maintaining an up-to-date register of local trained volunteers
· receiving and responding locally to weather alerts
· maintaining local salt/grit supplies and arranging storage
· organising and deploying volunteers to spread grit when icy conditions are forecast
· organising and deploying volunteers to clear snow.
Chittlehampton Parish Council has appointed joint snow wardens, Cllr Colin Timberlake and Cllr Matthew Jones, who, once trained, will take over from the current snow warden, Cllr Ives.
4. Snow warden volunteers
An effective snow warden scheme is dependent on members of the community coming forward to act as volunteers to assist the snow wardens with tasks such as the spreading of grit and the clearing of snow.
The parish council aims to maintain a team of snow warden volunteers. These volunteers will be trained by the snow wardens and will, under the direction of the snow wardens, grit and clear the most significant public highways within the parish. Once trained, these volunteers will be covered by Devon County Council’s insurance scheme.
Unless an immediate thaw is forecast, the intention is that these volunteers, working on behalf of the parish council, will grit main routes in the village as soon as practicable after snowfall. Additionally, main footways will be gritted if freezing rain is forecast. The exact areas to be cleared by the volunteers will depend upon the numbers of volunteers available and will be determined once this is known.
If you would like to volunteer or assist in any way with the implementation of parish council’s Snow and Ice Plan please do not hesitate to contact the parish clerk whose contact details are at the end of this plan.
Snow wardens and their volunteers carry out snow clearance and gritting at their own risk. However, so long as their work is carried out responsibly and within the guidelines of the snow warden scheme, a third party public liability claim would be covered by Devon County Council’s public liability insurance.
DCC will not provide any other form of insurance cover for this activity which must be undertaken at the volunteer’s own risk. So, for example, any damage to one’s own person, property or vehicle would not be covered. If vehicles are to be used (for example by farmers) then they must ensure that the vehicle is suitably insured for any activity undertaken - if in doubt, owners should check with their vehicle’s insurer.
If the parish council decides to employ a contractor to undertake any winter operation for them, the county council’s public liability insurance will not apply as it only applies to volunteers working under the snow warden scheme.
6. Salt/grit supplies
In the case of snowfall which disrupts travel, the parish council have supplies of salt/grit for use on highways within the parish and have the use of a grit spreader.
Grit bins are situated in the following five locations within the parish.
Grit Bin DCC Ref.
Hill Head Cross
Bottom of Hill Head
O/s The Downs
Grit bins are the responsibility of Devon County Council and the salt/grit contained in them is only for use on the public highway (including footways and footpaths) but not areas treated by the county council as part of the defined salting network (see below). Grit in the bins should not be taken for use on private property. Please notify either of the snow wardens if a bin needs refilling or requires maintenance.
In addition to the salt/grit in the grit bins, a limited additional amount of salt/grit is available to the parish council which can be provided in bags for use in known trouble spots. Any bags used for this purpose should be constructed of a heavy duty material or two bags used in order to prevent leakage.
The use of roadside open heaps is not permitted because of the risk of pollution. Bags containing salt/grit should be positioned so that unintentional leakage, spillage or vandalism cannot adversely affect tree roots.
In order to avoid the limited supply of salt/grit being used up unnecessarily quickly, it should be spread at the recommended ratio of 1 tablespoon (20 grams) per square metre.
7. Salting of roads by Devon County Council
Devon County Council is responsible for 13,000km / 8,000 miles of road in Devon. Torbay Council and Plymouth City Council maintain the roads in their areas. The motorway and trunk roads (which includes the M5, A30, A303, A35 and A38) are maintained separately by Highways England.
DCC carry out salting:
2,650 km (1,650 miles) of roads are on DCC’s precautionary salting network. Despite this, 80% of roads are not routinely treated.
DCC’s primary salting network
DCC’s primary salting network is made up of the major routes where the majority of vehicle movements take place and also includes accesses to hospitals, ambulance stations, fire stations, other emergency service establishments, railway stations, airports and secondary schools. The length of the 37 routes which form the primary salting network forms 20% of the total road network and provides direct or close access to 80% of the population. Local roads that form part of DCC’s primary salting network are shown in red on the map below:
The following criteria are used to determine which roads are salted:
· Strategic routes
All A and B roads and C roads classified as high-speed routes.
· Traffic flow
Routes with February two-way flows greater than 1000 vehicles per day.
· Settlement population
Main access route to settlements with a population of 500 or greater as provided by Devon County Council’s Strategic Intelligence Unit.
· Emergency premises
Main access route to 24hr emergency services premises, defined as “Emergency premises with 24-hour access” include: ambulance stations, full-time and retained fire stations, hospitals with 24-hour casualty departments and police stations manned 24 hours.
· Cottage and community hospitals
Main highway access route to strategic cottage and community hospitals as notified to the authority by Devon Primary Care Trust.
· Secondary schools (including independent secondary schools)
Main highway access to secondary schools.
· Bus routes
Bus routes with a service interval of at least 15 minutes within any one hour of the day, in one direction of travel or where a combination of multiple bus services meet this criteria.
Main highway access to regional airports.
· Railway stations
Main highway access to mainline and branch line railway stations.
· Adjoining highway authority salting networks
Agreement to ensure consistency of action across boundaries.
· Park and ride sites
The bus loop of park and ride sites.
Although DCC treat up to the main entrance of secondary schools, it is not practical for them to salt/grit approaches to every school. DCC consider it the schools’ responsibility to ensure they are properly prepared for winter and they do not provide salt/grit bags. Schools can purchase bags of salt from various commercial organisations such as builders merchants or from the current salt supply contract issued through Devon Procurement Services.
The secondary salting network
There is a secondary network which includes a lot of the minor roads to smaller communities. This secondary network is treated during extended periods of cold weather (defined as snow or ice most of the day) but not until the main route is clear.
There is only one section of road in Chittlehampton that is on the secondary network. The area to be treated runs from the turning to the village off of the B3227 at Great Deptford Farm, along the High Street and through the village up to where the road forks to go up Hill Head. This is illustrated on the map below:
The following criteria are used to determine which roads are salted as part of the secondary network:
· Settlement population
Main access route to settlements with a population of 100 to 499.
· Park and ride sites
Car parking area.
· Bus routes
Where problems have been identified on routes with a service interval of at least 30 minutes within any one hour of the day, in one direction of travel, or where a combination of multiple bus services meet this criteria.
· Main highway access route to DCC level 1 properties
Those council properties providing essential services which cannot be closed in severe weather – as defined during the swine flu pandemic emergency response.
Reporting ice on the primary or secondary network
Ice on a road which is on the primary or secondary network can be reported to DCC via the following website:
Only reports of ice on roads on those networks will be acted on.
If you are reporting an emergency that is very likely to present an imminent threat to life or serious injury or serious damage to property please call them instead on 0345 155 1004.
During the winter there are steps that parishioners can take to protect themselves at home and on the roads. Devon County Council provide advice and guidance on the following web page: https://www.devon.gov.uk/emergencies/severe-weather/winter- weather.
9. Contact details
Enquiries should be directed to the parish clerk, Alvin Scott, at the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Devon County Council’s Highways Department can be contacted via:
· tel: 0345 155 1004
· email: email@example.com
· live chat via their website: Monday to Friday 09.30-12:00 & 14:00-16:30 (Fridays 16:00)
· The Highway Operations Control Centre is staffed 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, to co-ordinate work on the highway network. The number to contact in a highway emergency is 01392 383329.