From November to March the risk of ice and snow is high and cold weather conditions can cause massive disruption on British roads. So what happens in preparation for this to decrease the impact this has on transport nationwide?
De-icing salt is an essential part of the battle against stand-still traffic and accidents on icy roads. It is used for its unique ability to melt snow and ice fast by increasing the melting point temperature of water by several degrees. Most roads and public areas are treated with de-icing salt regularly during bad weather conditions, however, it is always best to be careful until you are sure that your car, or shoes, have a firm grip on the road or path. It is also wise to note that not all car parks will automatically be treated with de-icing salt, and having a bag ready in the boot of your car might be a good idea in cases of emergency.
The gritting usually starts when several weather forecasting stations predict icy conditions ahead. The salting process shouldn’t take more than a few hours, but in the case of rain the spreading of de-icing salt needs to stop as rain can dilute salt or wash it away from the roads. The sooner the road is gritted the better. If snow settles on the road before it is gritted the de-icing salt will take longer to melt it.
De-icing salt bins are usually widely available in different locations, especially near footpaths, so that the public can spread it across the path when necessary. You can normally contact your council if the de-icing salt bin is empty, and it will be refilled.