Each winter, from November until the end of March, Blackpool Council provides a winter service in order to help provide a safer travelling environment for all highway users and to reduce disruption to road users. This period is known as Operation Snowdrop.
We receive daily Met Office weather forecasts and by late afternoon a decision is made whether or not to send the gritters out to spread salt.
The forecast we receive includes a graph, showing predicted road surface temperatures each hour for 24 hours and a description of the weather expected over that period. Sensors embedded in the road surface constantly monitor weather and the road conditions.
This information is used to check if conditions are getting worse or better, so we can react to changes in the weather. This monitoring continues night and day.
What we grit
There is a primary salting network and secondary salting network. Unfortunately the council does not have the resources to treat all the town's roads.
- Primary route roads are treated within 4 hours of being notified of potentially hazardous conditions
- Secondary route roads are treated during particularly severe or hazardous conditions, at the discretion of the winter service manager
Requesting roads and pavement gritting
Unfortunately there isn’t enough salt to spread on every road and pavement in Blackpool. We try to ensure that access is maintained to key transport routes and vital services such as doctors and schools.
For more information on gritting follow Blackpool Council on Facebook or on Twitter and search for #bplgrit to keep track of when we're out.
In recent history severe weather had a major impact on transport systems, including prolonged winters and flooding incidents. Blackpool Council highways department has incorporated the winter gritting network and the Environment Agency’s Flood Warning Areas into a resilient network in order to provide access to key services during extreme weather.