The law on clearing snow and ice from public spaces
The Department for Transport recently published new guidance about clearing snow outside your property, pathways to your property or public spaces. The guidance says there is no law stopping you from doing this although it acknowledges that some people feel constrained by a fear of being sued by someone who has an accident on the cleared area.
If an accident did happen, it's highly unlikely that you would be sued as long as you:
• are careful
• use common sense to make sure that you don't make the pavement or pathway clearly more dangerous than before.
People using areas affected by snow and ice also have responsibility to be careful themselves.
If you are going to remove snow and ice, here are some tips:
•start as early as possible - it's much easier to clear fresh, loose snow than compacted ice that has been compressed by people walking on it
• don’t use hot water - this will melt the snow, but may replace it with black ice, increasing the risk of injury
• be a good neighbour - some people may be unable to clear snow and ice on paths from their property
• if shovelling snow, think where you are going to put it so that it doesn’t block other people’s paths or drainage channels
• make a pathway down the middle of the area to be cleared first, so you have a clear surface to walk on
• spreading some salt on the area you have cleared will help stop ice forming - table salt or dishwasher salt will work, but avoid spreading on plants or grass as they may be damaged by it
• pay particular care and attention to steps and steep gradients
• use the sun to your advantage - removing the top layer of snow will allow the sun to melt any ice beneath; however you will need to cover any ice with salt to stop it refreezing overnight
• if there's no salt available, sand or ash are good alternatives.
To find out about road gritting and salt provision follow the link below to the Transport for Bucks website and for tips on safer driving.
If refuse collections are affected by bad weather we will place information on the homepage of our website.
Helping your neighbours
Please see the document below giving advice from Government about community action during severe weather.
Date Updated: 20/12/10
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Community action during severe weather
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