Bridgend County Borough Council,Civic Offices, Angel Street, Bridgend, CF31 4WB

Tel: 01656 643643
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Email: talktous@bridgend.gov.uk
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A Guide to the Winter Service in Bridgend County Borough

Winter Maintenance Policy

Winter Maintenance 1

The Authority’s policy is to provide an efficient winter maintenance service, which will permit the safe movement of traffic throughout the County Borough and keep delays to a minimum on the treated network.

This policy is in line with the principles laid down in the national code of practice “Well Maintained Highways”

 

Winter Service

Each year the Winter Service is reviewed, which includes an assessment of the carriageway pre-salting strategic network for winter. Currently, the salted network covers 37% of the County Borough’s 790kms of roads.

The cost of providing this service each year varies dependant on snowfall events. Last year over £1.3 million was spent to treat and keep carriageways and footways clear of snow and ice.

See a map showing the road network of Bridgend that receives precautionary treatment with salt when freezing conditions are forecast.

During 2009/2010 winter there has been a change in the type of rock salt spread on our highways. We have moved a smaller size salt that is coated with an agricultural bi product that has powerful anti-icing and corrosion inhibition properties. This has enabled us to reduce the quantity of salt being spread by between 30% and 50%. The new salt will have the additional benefit of reducing the impact of the spreading operation on other vehicles

What are Pre-Treatment, Post-treatment and Snow Clearing?

Winter Maintenance 2

Pre-treatment is the application of salt to carriageways to prevent frost and ice forming on the road surface. Brine is a saline solution that is sprayed on to pedestrian areas. Pre-salting and brine application is carried out in advance of frosty conditions and is dependant on:

  • - Surface temperature
  • - Dampness of the surface
  • - Air temperature and humidity

Post-treatment is the application of rock salt to carriageways to melt ice and snow which has already formed.

Snow clearing is the removal of significant accumulations of snow from carriageways and footways by the use of snow ploughs, snow blowers, other heavy machines and manual labour.

 

Winter Maintenance 3It should be noted that pre-treatment, post-treatment and snow clearing are not carried out on all roads and only a very limited area in pedestrianised town centres. Where post-treatment with salt or brine and snow clearing are carried out on lower priority roads and footways, this will only take place when the main priority roads and pedestrianised areas have been cleared, which may take some time after the initial snow storm.

In addition to the roads treated by Bridgend County Borough Council Gritting Vehicles, the Authority provides numerous salt / grit bins on residential and other minor roads, particularly on junctions and steep hills. There are approximately 400 grit bins placed across the authority at problem locations off the precautionary salting network. Approximately 15% of these have been funded by Community Councils. The bins will be filled with a 50:50 salt/sharp sand mix, at the start of the winter when resources and salt stocks are available.

The salt is provided for the use by residents and motorists when conditions deteriorate, for treatment of the Public highway and not for use on Private Property.

 

The M4 motorway within the County Borough area is salted and cleared by the South Wales Trunk Road Agency on behalf of the Welsh Assembly Government. Bridgend County Borough Council is a partner in the Agency.

Forecasting Snow and Ice

MeteoGroup UK provides Bridgend County Borough Council with three specific weather forecasts each day, which include road surface temperature information. Each forecast covers a geographical area of the Authority. These domains are: inland high ground, inland low ground and coastal.

The weather forecasts form part of our Ice Prediction system which uses five remote weather stations located throughout the County Borough, providing atmospheric and road surface temperature information.

This information along with the weather forecasts is used to aid our decision making process.

The Pre-Treatment Operation

Once the decision has been taken, our fleet of Gritting Vehicles are deployed to spread salt on the strategic network.

Salt is used as the de-icing agent on carriageways because it is the most cost-effective means of treatment. Brine is used on pedestrianised areas because it does not have the associated problems for pedestrians of rock salt being spread in shopping areas.

Footways outside the pedestrianised town centre areas, subject to normal overnight frosty conditions will not be pre-treated.

Winter Maintenance 4

Snow

The aim during and after major snowstorms is to maintain and/or restore road communications for industrial traffic and journeys to work by public transport. This is achieved by implementing a predetermined snow plan which allocates equipment and resources.

The first priority in snow clearing will be to clear the Strategic (Precautionary) Network. Once sufficient plant has been allocated to these tasks the remainder will be allocated to clear the secondary salting streets. The secondary streets have been established to cover emergency service centres, bus routes not included in the precautionary salting network, roads leading to isolated villages, streets on steep inclines, industrial and shopping areas, school frontages, approaches to cemeteries, doctor’s surgeries and homes for the elderly and disadvantaged. Residential streets and country lanes are treated
only when the essential transport network is restored.

Severe Weather

Although we endeavor to provide a complete service on the treated network, sometimes due to freak weather conditions we can be caught out. It is particularly difficult to treat phenomenon such as freezing rain or black ice.

We will respond as quickly as possible in areas where this has occurred but ice is very much more difficult to remove once it has been formed.

Warnings

Weather conditions can change very quickly. Expect ice to form anywhere and at any time, especially overnight and at dawn. Not all roads will be pre-treated. Footways and pedestrian areas could be hazardous, especially where water seepage occurs.

What Can You Do?

Please remember that driving in Winter is more difficult and that in severe weather conditions the physical and mental demands are greater.

Tips on driving in winter.

Road Conditions/ Closures etc.

During snowfall events it is not possible to update this website with accurate information regarding the current status of all roads within the Bridgend County Borough Council. Information is provided to the local media centres for distribution via Radio and TV, however if you require any further information please contact the Customer Care Line on (01656) 642542 where advise on the current status can be given. However please be patient as during these times our staff is normally overloaded with a multitude of queries and requests for assistance.

 

Last Updated: 16/07/2013
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