West Berkshire Council

West Berkshire Council geared up for icy weather

West Berkshire Council has activated its Winter Service Plan to keep the District on the move and our network as safe as possible.

Rock Salt at Chieveley Depot

Our pdf icon Winter Service Policy and Plan [4Mb] activated on 29 October and our Highways contractor, Volker, has already begun gritting key routes whenever road temperatures have fallen below zero. 

West Berkshire's Executive Member for Transport and Countryside, Jeanette Clifford, said: "Each year, the council gears up for winter weather. We have 1500 tonnes of rock salt to hand at our Chieveley Depot (and I can tell you that it's an impressive sight), a further 1000 tonnes on standby and our gritting fleet fully serviced and ready for action. I'd like to thank our gritting teams for the difficult work they do, often in the worst of weather, covering, when needed, a full 60% of our network. However, it's impossible to treat every minor road, so when winter sets in, I encourage everyone to allow more time for journeys and take extra care."

Primary routes, accounting for 40% of the district's almost 800 miles of road, are gritted whenever ice or a frost is forecast. These routes include all A and B roads and some strategically important C roads. Secondary routes, making up 20% of the highway network, are gritted once frosty or icy conditions are experienced for an unbroken period of 72 hours or greater (i.e., sub-zero temperatures experienced through the period for 3 continuous days and nights). 

There are also 480 roadside salt bins to help keep the road network and council offices and public buildings accessible. Of these, 31 are owned and maintained by West Berkshire Council and 449 by the Parish or Town Councils.

The decision on when to grit roads is triggered by weather alerts from the MeteoGroup. We try to grit after the evening rush hour or before the morning rush hour to keep disruption on the roads to a minimum.

Our Preparing for Winter pages offer advice on keeping safe this winter including while you travel.