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Grit Bin Policy

Grit Bin Policy & Procedure

Chard Town Council shall provide grit bins for self-help by members of the public.

The Use of Grit

Grit is another name for ‘rock salt’ and it helps keep roads safe by preventing them becoming icy; it works by lowering the temperature at which water freezes.  It relies on pedestrian movement on pavements or the action of vehicle tyres to spread it over the road but it can get too cold for the salt to work.  Below -5 degrees centigrade the effectiveness of grit is reduced and pavements/roads may still freeze.  Rain or snow can wash the salt away leaving the area prone to re-icing, so salting ideally needs to take place after rain but before the water freezes.

Spreading the Grit

Safety is the most important factor:

Only spread the grit when there are no vehicles or pedestrians about;  Wear bright clothing to ensure that you can be seen easily;  Don’t assume that the road or footway is safe just because you have spread the grit;  Look after the environment – use the minimum grit necessary.  A shovel full of grit will be sufficient for 20-30sq.m. For maximum effect the grit should be spread in tyre tracks or on the main foot way used.

Legend & Rumour

There is a long-standing urban myth that if a person is injured as a result of slipping on a pavement cleared voluntarily, they will sue for damages.  Providing the snow clearance is done carefully and the area is not left worse than it was before the clearance took place, it is extremely unlikely that any legal consequence will follow. The following is an extract from a letter from the Ministry of Justice sent to Nicholas Soames, MP, dated 28 February 2010:

‘The prospect of a person who volunteers to clear snow from a pavement being successfully sued for damages by a person who subsequently slips on the cleared area and is injured is very small.’

‘A snow – clearer does have a duty to anyone who passes along the pavement to do the clearing with reasonable care so as not to create a new and worse risk, but the only person who is at risk of being sued is a person who clears the snow so badly that things are worse than before and that common sense would indicate this was so.  A job done very badly indeed which makes the pavement clearly more dangerous than before might give rise to a risk if a person who would not have slipped otherwise slips and is injured as a direct result of that more dangerous state of affairs.’

Grit Bin Provision
The Council will provide a new grit bin when a number of criteria are met using a point system.
Key factors that are considered include:
Height of land i.e. altitude  Highway gradient  Highway safety  Distance to next grit box  Other factors e.g. elderly persons’ accommodation; known water problems; junction problems; unadopted status
Grit bins shall only be located where at least one of the criteria in List A are met and all the remaining seven in List B:-

List A

The gradient is greater than 1 in 10;  A junction with a known history of accidents;  Acceptable number of disabled or elderly residents:

List B

Not on a route already gritted by the County Council;  Must be for use on the public highway (road and footway)  The location shall not obstruct the passage of pedestrians, a minimum of 1.5m clearance on the footway is required;  The location shall not obstruct sight lines;  The location is not within 200m of another grit bin location;  The location is within an urban area;  The location is either within the boundary of the public road or can be sited on private land with the landowner’s permission in a way to give safe uninterrupted access by residents, Chard Town Council operatives and SCC operatives.

3. The Council will not provide grit bins in private areas or car parks for internal use by any other Council or any other public or private property such as schools, parks, hospitals, old people’s homes, etc. unless a service level agreement is in place.

4. Grit bins will only be located where they can be filled from a lorry. The grit bins shall be replenished at the start of the winter period and during the winter period, as resources permit.

5. Grit bins will generally be left in place during the summer months, unless there is a history of vandalism at a particular location.

6. The grit in the bin is purely for use on the public highway. If the grit is used on private land/footpaths/driveways consideration will be given for the removal of the bin.

7. The locations of grit bins will be recorded and made available on the Council’s website.

8. Only written requests on the Council’s Grit Bin Application Form will be considered. These are available on the website or from the Guildhall, Fore Street Chard TA20 1PP.

9. An application will not be considered unless the agreement is signed by at least 50% of households within 100 metres of the proposed bin and full payment of the resident’s contribution is enclosed with the application.

10. Before any installation is finally approved agreement will need to be given by SCC, as the highway authority, for the siting of the bin and it’s servicing.

Click here for Application for Provision of Grit Bin Form