Spring Bank Holiday on Monday 27 May means all rubbish and recycling collections will be one day later that week, including Friday collections taking place on Saturday 1 June.
Recycling and rubbish collection days are changing for some households in Mendip and South Somerset. Read about the changes and how they may affect you.

Introduction

We carry out gritting on our precautionary gritting network to help highway users in Somerset get around in conditions of snow and ice. For 2023/24 this will cover around 900 miles or 21 per cent of the total roads in Somerset.

View our Twitter feed to see when the gritters are in action

Gritting map

Visit our interactive map to see which roads will be gritted this winter

When are roads gritted?

We have weather stations across Somerset and receive special daily forecasts to predict road surface temperatures and air moisture content. Gritting is usually carried out before road surface temperatures are predicted to drop below 1°C and frost or ice is expected to form on the road. In winter you can check when the gritters are in action with daily updates on Twitter.

What we do

We are responsible for gritting roads in Somerset, except for the M5, A303 and A36 which are treated by Highways England.

Resources are not available to treat all roads so criteria have been used that meet national guidelines to enable the precautionary salting network to be defined. This has been done to ensure a consistent approach across the county and achieve a responsible balance between cost and level of service.

The criteria used to define the routes are:

  • Connectivity between major communities
  • Links to the strategic highway network
  • Connectivity across authority boundaries where appropriate (including Highways England defined diversion routes from the A303, A36 and M5 motorway)
  • Links to transport interchanges
  • Access to emergency facilities including Fire and Rescue, Police, Ambulance Services and A&E hospitals
  • Links to critical infrastructure
  • Primary bus routes which serve major communities where the treated route is not viable – and the community would otherwise have no other public transport provision (not including school bus routes)
  • Other locally important facilities (for example Yeovilton Air Station, major quarries, major food distribution centres)
  • Major settlement (500 addressable properties) links
  • Settlements (50 addressable properties) above 500 feet links
  • Links to urban schools (500+ pupils) and rural schools (300+ pupils)
  • Other sections of the highway network to ensure route continuity.

Check which roads are gritted in our searchable online map or use our printable map version.

Snow events

In the event of snow, we have established emergency plans in place, working alongside the emergency services and partners to clear the network as quickly as possible. We can equip our gritters with snowploughs and also have arrangements with farmers and snowplough operators who are employed to clear snow on our behalf. We prioritise our primary gritting network and move on to clear our secondary and minor networks as resources allow.

Driving advice

If you have to travel in severe weather, the Met Office has produced a guide to driving in severe weather which has plenty of useful advice.

Remember:

  • Only the busiest roads are salted, most are not – drive safely
  • In icy conditions, braking distances can increase tenfold
  • It takes time for the salt to become effective
  • Rain can wash the salt off roads
  • In very low temperatures even salting does not prevent icing
  • Extra caution is needed when driving in bad weather

What you can do:

  • Prepare your vehicle for winter
  • Check the weather forecast and road conditions before travelling
  • Allow extra time for your journey
  • Give gritters and snowploughs plenty of room to operate
  • Carry a shovel and blanket in your vehicle

Clearing snow and ice

GOV.UK has a guide about how you can clear snow and ice from roads or pavements.

Salt bins

Salt bins are purchased and maintained by parish and town councils and sited at locations agreed with us. We fill these at the start of winter when requested by parish and town councils and we will refill them on request during the season if resources allow.

Last reviewed: May 17, 2024 by Daniel

Next review due: November 17, 2024

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