This week I asked a guy in the front line of weather affairs at the moment, Piers Bryant, to tell me how his company, Sussex Gritting Services, has fared over the past week. This is his response:-
It’s been a good few years since we have seen snow like this in Sussex, and whilst it looks pretty and its great for the kids (and adults!) to play in, it causes disruption and concerns for many people.
Its been a very busy week for Sussex Gritting Services. As forecast, the snow and very low temperatures arrived and brought with it the associated problems. Many employees struggled to get to work as traffic often becomes grid locked or had to take the day off to look after children whose schools were closed.
Road surface temperatures got as low as -8 degrees across Sussex this week, with the wind chill making it feel bitter to be out in. As with any weather situation there is always an element of unpredictability. The amount of snow and its timings weren’t always clear although, unlike 2010, there was good media coverage about the possibility of snow, which gave people some time to prepare.
WSCC gritters have been working around the clock to keep the main highways as safe as possible. Here at Sussex Gritting Services, we have been operating 24/7 ensuring that all our contracted sites are kept open and operational over the winter season.
We have seen a huge increase in contact from local businesses ensuring that their sites are gritted and plans put in place in case of snow.
We are often asked how gritting (salting) the roads and pavements actually works. In simple terms, we use white rock salt which dissolves into the water (Brine) upon contact with moisture. This lowers the freezing point of the water on the surface, so it will remain liquid at temperatures below 0°C. There is often a misconception that snow will not settle on surfaces treated with salt. This is dependent on how heavy and consistent the shower is. Once spread, salt is activated by passing vehicles or pedestrians, which then melts the snow. When there are larger accumulations of snow, a snow plough is required to clear the sites prior to further gritting taking place. For surfaces that have been gritted in the cold spell leading up to the snow fall, the grit is far more effective. As the old saying goes, prevention is better than cure!
The weather is set to stay cold over the next few days with the potential for more snow, although at the time of writing this the snow may turn to rain by the end of the weekend.
If you have a premises that could benefit from our winter coverage. Please visit www.sussexgrittingservices.com or call 01444 453400. The team will be happy to provide a free quote and advice on how to keep your site safe during the cold weather.
“In these icy conditions always ensure the following when going out in the car :
- check your car has suitable washer fluid (winter mix) and clear the snow from the bonnet /lights
- travel with additional warm clothing
- that you have sufficient fuel to complete the journey (with delays)
- take a mobile phone & charger just in case
- use the gears if possible to slow the car down
- try to keep your car/vehicle in second gear with low revs when driving up hill…. remember, us Brits keep summer tyres on throughout the winter !!