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Winter weather plan
We make sure that all primary routes in Medway
are gritted to help prevent ice from forming to keep you moving on
the roads in severe winter weather.
Our preparations include:
- 5,000 tonnes of salt stockpiled
- 8 salting vehicles
- 436 salt bins
- 4x4 vehicles available to reach those in more rural areas
From mid-October to mid-April our contractor is on standby to
grit the primary routes whenever ice, frost or snow are expected.
Throughout this period Duty Officers look at weather forecasts and
other data to decide whether gritting is required. Staff are on
call 24 hours a day so that they can react quickly to changing
How do we determine when main roads need to be
We get forecasts from the MeteoGroup UK, which are
specifically compiled for Kent’s roads. These are received daily
and show when road surfaces are likely to fall below freezing
during the following 24 hours. The aim is to grit the primary
routes before ice, frost or snow forms. This is planned well in
advance but sometimes it is necessary to react under emergency
conditions to deal with unpredictable weather.
How are the roads gritted?
Our contractor supplies all equipment and labour, using 8
winter service vehicles to complete a gritting run covering the
primary routes. It takes a maximum of 2 hours to grit all of the
primary routes. Under emergency conditions, the vehicles can be
mobilised within 1 hour.
Rock salt is used, which has been crushed down to a 6mm size.
This is dissolved by moisture on the road surface and lowers the
freezing point. The action of traffic helps this process to take
place. However, in certain circumstances, salting will not prevent
ice or frost forming. This is usually when roads are very wet and
the salt becomes diluted. The amount of salt put down and the
frequency of gritting can be increased but even this may not
prevent icy patches.
Download our Winter service plan (pdf
483KB) and the Winter
service policy (pdf 120KB)