Snow crises

Two years ago the UK ground to a halt because snow. Airports roads and buses came froze into inactivity. How do other countries prevent a snow crises.
Canada copes with massive snowfalls with comparative ease. In large cities with heavy snowfalls like Montreal and Ottawa, the snow clearing expense for each season is an important part of the seasonal public works budget.
Each snow storm provokes a major logistical operation involving thousands of employees working in shifts 24 hours a day. The effort can vary greatly depending on the amount of snow.
Montreal gets about 225 cm of snow each winter and spends more than $128 million Canadian each year to remove it. Toronto, with about 50 per cent more population and 28 per cent more road surface, gets only 125 cm of snow a year and spends about half that. The higher cost in Montreal is due to the need to perform “snow removal” as opposed to simple “snow clearing” necessitated by both the high snowfall amounts and fewer melting days.
It is estimated that Canada spends $1 billion on snow removal. The employees who do this work are generally the same workers who do road maintenance work during the summer months, but in some US cities garbage trucks are also equipped with plows and used for snow removal.
In the US communities sign contracts with insurance companies, under which the insurance company assumes the risk of a heavy winter. The insurance company of course sets the rates such that averaged over time they will make a profit; the town is willing to overpay for snow removal in mild winters in order to avoid the risk of running dramatically over budget in the occasional severe winter.
In Helsinki, Finland, the amount of snow transported from streets and properties to snow dump sites during the winter of 2009–2010 was 210,000 truckloads- over 3 million cubic meters. Snow removal has influenced the very design of city infrastructure streets are wider
As with most things, the Germans have very specific rules and regulations concerning who is responsible for keeping roads, walkways, driveways and paths safe in the winter.
When the snow starts to fall in Germany, homeowners have to start shovelling since you can be sued for not carrying out your “winter duties,” In general, homeowners and landlords in German-speaking Europe are required to remove snow and ice from walkways on their property.
Virtually every town or city in Germany and the other German-speaking countries has a set of rules and regulations called the street cleaning statute. (Straßenreinigungssatzung )
The snow-shoveling requirements are spelled out in great detail, even down to the minimum width of the cleared area and the time during which you must keep snow cleared away (from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. on weekdays) – even if it continues to snow.
Most of the regulations also specify where you can put the snow you have shoveled. You aren’t allowed to simply pile it in the street, for instance. If someone slips and falls in front of your house or apartment, you could be on the losing end of a law suit.
Not even illness or being away on vacation gets Germans off the hook for snow duty. The regulations usually require you to get someone else to take care of your snow and ice responsibilities if you can’t do it yourself, for whatever reason.
Early snow this year heralds a cold, white winter for the UK. While winter planning stakeholders get their teeth into the logistics of keeping the country moving during bad weather, garden centres and nurseries will be stocking up on rock salt and spreading equipment as home users take domestic ice and snow clearance into their own hands.
Temperatures in the UK rarely fall below -9 degrees Celsius (15.8F), so traditional brown British rock salt is still the most popular gritting material. British rock salt – which meets BS 3247 standards – is a good quality product with excellent ice prevention and de-icing properties down to this temperature.
The distinctive colour of brown rock salt also puts the public’s mind at ease as they can clearly see where gritting has taken place, while white rock salt offers a cleaner alternative for areas closer to building entrances.
Rock salt is also extremely economical. Barry Dearing, a director of Icethaw said: “There is no reason why anyone should pay high prices for a product that is naturally ready to deal with ice and snow.
“For example, Icethaw’s price guarantee means garden centres can pass on the low price of rock salt to their customers, who will be fully satisfied with the high standards of de-icing and snow clearance achieved.”
Mined, bagged and delivered in an optimum dry state, rock salt can be distributed to roads, pavements and car parks evenly and efficiently using spreaders – both push-along and towable – or shovels.
Garden centres and nurseries can stock up on rock salt that is bagged with their own branding. Icethaw has a state-of-the-art packaging plant where we bag dry rock salt for pallet delivery to garden centres and nurseries around the UK, mainland Europe and Eire.
Standard delivery of Icethaw’s rock salt is free, with special, timed and emergency delivery options available for a small additional cost. You can buy bulk rock salt online from Icethaw or order over the telephone.
TEl 01254 396660

Salt – Be prepared
Severe weather conditions can cause widespread operational difficulties for transport networks, public services, amenities and local economies. How can we prepare ourselves to avoid disruption? The major problem faced by anyone needing salt is that when it’s most urgently required prices are invariably at a premium and availability may well be restricted.
The only answer to avoid such hurdles is to get supplies in early. At Long Rake Spar we have sufficient stocks of bagged salt available to meet the inevitable winter demand. Our Pure Rock Salt is not diluted by mixing with sand or grit – it is 100% salt and provides no doubts to the ultimate performance of this product.
Tel: 01629 636210
The Boss range of compact winter maintenance equipment allows equipment buyers to purchase fully detachable equipment which eliminates the need for specialist vehicles. The exclusive Smart Hitch 2 technology allows owners to attach /detach or switch ploughs on the same vehicle in a matter of minutes and allows the vehicle to be utilised throughout the rest of the year. Smart Hitch 2 requires no modification to the vehicle chassis at all.
Designed and manufactured in Michigan USA a region of cold brutal winters, these ploughs have a long track record of getting the job done. All Boss equipment complies with European requirements and offers the perfect solution for use with UTV’s, 4×4 vehicles, tractors, skid steers and larger trucks.
In the 18 months since Conquip Industrial introduced The Boss range to the UK the brand has become a favourite choice for the professional contractor.
The Boss range of compact winter maintenance equipment represents the best blend of quality and value for money available in the market today.
TEl 0845 520 1104 .

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