As the temperatures start to drop, Warwickshire County Council has officially unveiled its Voluntary Snow Warden scheme which will help make sure that the county is prepared for winter.
The county council is in the process of recruiting a network of Voluntary Snow Wardens through parish and town councils and housing associations to keep Warwickshire moving when severe weather hits.
Each snow warden will be equipped with a kit and given training from highways officers on the Government’s Snow Code and the level of response required in the event of heavy snowfall.
Their function during severe weather conditions will primarily be to provide a flow of information to the County Highways Team on the local situation and work with area teams to determine what action to take on localised needs to supplement the operation of the department.
Warwickshire County Councillor Helen Walton has already signed up to be a snow warden in her Rugby division of Brownsover.
She said: “I am proud to be among the first to join the county council’s army of voluntary snow wardens.
“The reason we have introduced snow wardens is to increase our resilience during severe winter weather and ensure that we have a point of contact at the more isolated rural locations in Warwickshire.
“Our snow wardens will be invaluable for keeping the highways teams informed of localised conditions and help us to respond quickly and effectively.”
Priority will be given to clear busy footways and areas outside shops and schools and steep areas agreed in advance with highways. If necessary, area teams will sanction the treatment of agreed village and town footways from salt supplied from the existing grit bins or at agreed locations from additional sealed bags as resources allow.
Warwickshire County Council’s County Highways Team grits 1,700km, or 46 per cent of the county’s road network. During a cold snap, it has 29 vehicles out gritting the roads and keeps drivers on round-the-clock standby from the end of October until the end of March.
The county council advises members of the public that there is no law stopping people from clearing snow and ice on the pavement outside their property, pathways to your property or public space.
If an accident occurs, it is highly unlikely that an individual would be sued as long as you take care and use common sense to make sure that you do not make the pavement or pathway clearly more dangerous that before. People using area affected by snow and ice also have responsibility to be careful themselves.