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Your Borough Of Poole

Winter Road Maintenance


About Winter Services:

Poole’s location means that it is fairly well placed to avoid the worst of the winter weather although the impact when it does happen may feel greater than for other areas. Our response is similar to other local authorities in spreading salt and/or grit to more important carriageways. To aid access to key public services pedestrian areas such as travel interchanges and Poole Housing Partnership sheltered housing schemes may also be hand gritted following snowfall.

The Borough of Poole is responsible for maintaining Poole’s highway network of around 520 km (325 miles) which ranges from dual carriageways to narrow residential roads and rural lanes. Approximately 38% of roads are on the Precautionary Treatment Network. (See the right hand side of this page for a downloadable map).

Actions are taken to keep the networkreasonably free of the adverse affects of ice and snow. This is not an absolute duty and the level of service provided has to reflect the resources available. The key objective is to keep the more important elements of the network reasonably safe and available to the public.

Our aims are:

  • To keep the major routes on the highway network working safely and effectively as weather conditions and financial resources allow.

  • To undertake a limited amount of snow and ice clearance to other key areas of the network, such as important footways

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What we can do:

  • Monitor our specialist weather forecasting and ice prediction system 24 hours a day. Decisions are based on road temperature, rather than air temperature. Use radar and satellite images (as well as speaking to forecasters if necessary) to help determine whether (and when) ice or snow is likely to form on the network

  • Remotely monitor road conditions from strategically located weather stations as well as driving the network itself if necessary to help determine the appropriate actions

  • Prepare spreading routes with neighbouring local authorities e.g. Bournemouth & Dorset

  • Maintain a spreader fleet on standby 24 hours a day, stock 1200 tonnes of road salt at the commencement of the winter season and prepare 58 Grit Bins in strategic location.

  • Spread salt and/or grit on the Precautionary Network when weather conditions dictate

  • Have indentified a smaller Resilience Network, which will be treated first during more extreme winter weather

  • Provide manual gritting of pavements at strategic locations, such as travel interchanges, Poole Crematorium, Poole High Street and PHP sheltered housing schemes subject to the availability of resources

  • Inform the emergency services (Police, Dorset Fire & Rescue and South West Ambulance Service) of our actions

  • Encourage self-help and neighbourly cooperation in dealing with local problems

  • Continue to respond to other urgent issues affecting public safety such as flooding and fallen trees.

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 What we can't do:

  • Treat all the roads in Poole, as this is beyond the scope of our resources or that of any highway authority. If following successful treatment(s) on the Precautionary Network then other parts of the network will be considered.

  • Treat footways all over Poole: Again in common with many authorities, resources dictate that these are not routinely treated. In extended periods of snow and ice, only major pedestrian routes (e.g. town centre and travel interchanges, etc.) will be treated on a priority basis as resources allow.

  • Treat roads which are not maintainable by the Borough as highway authority (e.g. the A31 is the responsibility of the Highways Agency) or private roads.

  • Ensure that any road or footway is free of snow or ice - whether treated or not: Many factors affect the effectiveness of salt (e.g. traffic, temperature) and the ability to spread it (e.g. traffic congestion, rainfall, etc.)

  • Provide salt or grit even though public assistance and cooperation is welcomed, or provide additional grit bins beyond that already resourced

  • Provide salt or grit for non-highway use. Any salt/grit provided for the public is for use by the public on the adjacent highway and not on private property.

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 What you can do:

  • Keep up to date with the local weather forecast and weather warnings

  • Follow the advice given out by ourselves and the media regarding road conditions and travel
  • Do not undertake any unnecessary journeys always taking sensible precautions if driving is essential

  • Be aware that some roads or footways on a journey may not be passable especially off major routes

  • Be prepared by purchasing grit/salt with neighbours and other members of the community. The Borough of Poole can provide grit bins to residents and community groups (if they wish to fund and cover maintenance costs) subject to a safe and suitable location being identified for its installation

  • You can buy grit/salt from most DIY stores - when the weather is really bad we advise that you telephone them first to check that they have stocks available.

  • Follow the guidance issued below, ensuring you are prepared for winter

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Useful Guidance:

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Other Information Sources:

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Related pages

Contact us


01202 261700

Environmental and Consumer Protection
Unit 1
Newfields Business Park
2 Stinsford Road
BH17 0NF