What are Private Road Gritting Services
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Do you want to find out more about what are private road gritting services? We look at winter road gritting & salt spreading and who is responsible for road gritting. You may require private road gritting if you maintain a carpark or private road.
What Do Private Road Gritting Services Do?
When the winter weather hits our communities and snow begins to fall, the roads and footpaths begin to become dangerous to manoeuvre, and it's important to keep these clear. This can be done with winter gritting services. The council in your area is typically responsible for clearing A-roads and main passageways, but if you live on a private road, it may not be cleared for you.
This is where private road gritting services come in. Specialist companies work on a hire basis to clear footpaths and roads that have been missed by the local authorities, or even various car park gritting (such as hospitals, universities, or company car parks). These can all be covered by private gritting services, which can remove ice and provide snow clearance also.
The gritting industry has modernised and become more efficient and sleek, working at a moment's notice when the weather changes.
Unlike council-operated vehicles, which may not operate to the unique situation, private services can adapt.
This means they can spread the precise amount of salt needed and not leave anything to chance or leave unnecessary risks.
A gritting company performs its services using its various gritting vehicles and equipment, from regular gritters to snowploughs, all with efficiency and low cost.
What is Winter Road Gritting & Salt Spreading?
Salt spreading is essential in the winter months, and it works by lowering the freezing point of moisture on the surface it's spread onto. It works most effectively on road surfaces, as cars will crush and spread the salt whilst they're moving, therefore covering a greater surface. By gritting snow, you can prevent deadly accidents from happening.
Of course, another issue arises once the ice has formed and set and the snow has passed. Gritting becomes less effective at this point, and snow ploughs are redundant. In this case, it's important to get ahead of this and prevent it from happening in the first place by spreading rock salt, for example.
This will solve both issues of snow and ice by melting the snow and preventing ice from even forming. This needs to be done regularly, especially during heavier snowfall moments. Once it sets on the ground and is left to form and ice is created, then risks increase for both cars and pedestrians.
Typically, this is combated by a salt spreader being towed by a council-owned vehicle. It's not ideal for covering large distances, however, as it can typically only be towed at a maximum speed of 30mph and won't take into account the level of salt needed for a certain surface like a private service would do.
Where Local Authorities' responsibilities start and end
Put simply, a local authority or highway watch has an obligation to provide safe passage through a road or footpath if an obstruction is in place. This means they do not have to regularly grit or plough roads so long as the passage is possible.
Under the England and Wales Highway Act 1980, the duty is with the highway authority to ensure that a highway is not endangered by snow or ice. When it comes to local councils, they aim to have treated primary roads within 4 hours of hazardous conditions being formed, and then secondary roads are treated where needed.
Most of the time, there is not enough grit owned to be supplied on every road, so it's up to a community to spread grit on their street, and these can be found in regularly placed grit bins. By doing your bit for your home and street, you're helping out, and it's completely free to use this grit.
The council only has a certain amount of resources available, and these need to go towards the areas with the most traffic flow. Every year our councils are reassessing where should be a priority.
Still, the general rule of thumb is that a council will not salt residential roads or private land, and sometimes even doctors surgeries, but it all depends on the size of the traffic flow.
When it comes to private roads or owning private land, the owner has a legal liability to ensure that any visitors or staff have safe passage, and any claims can be made against them if not done.
Benefits of Regular Gritting
If you own an establishment or business and need safe access for your staff and customers, then regular gritting is of utmost importance. If not done, then icy and unstable surfaces may prevent customers from entering or simply deter them. Worst case scenario is that a potential customer will injure themselves on your property, which can lead to a claim being made.
This can all lead to a loss in profits and customs, and it's easily avoidable by contacting maintenance services. Simple things such as keeping on top of gritting your car park can make a customer feel safer and will return to your shop in the winter months and can prevent an emergency from happening.
If you own private land or farmland, for example, then it's important to maintain your land and keep the tracks clear for easy passage. This means you're looking after the safety of not just yourself but anyone you employ or visitors you're expecting. Deliveries are hard to make if they cannot get down your path or street.
The benefit of utilising a private gritting service is that you can prepare for the weather and set the precautions in place before your competitors. If the salt can be placed down in advance, then the snow will melt upon touching it, and no ice will form, making yourself, friends, family, and customers safer.
We offer rock salt spreading throughout Aberdeen, Peterhead, Dundee and Aberdeenshire. Follow the link below to find out more about the areas that we offer road gritting in north Scotland.