Home > Resident > Gritting & Snow Clearing > Priority salting route

Priority salting route

Flintshire County Council has recently reviewed its Winter Maintenance Policy. The policy dictates which classification of road receives precautionary gritting treatment before the on-set off icy conditions. This is to ensure that the Council treats all routes with similar characteristics at the same level of service across the County. Following the review, 3 rural routes have been affected and will no longer be subject to precautionary treatment.  Details of the affected routes can be found on the attached link. Not Precautionary Treated Maps (PDF 4MB) However notwithstanding the above, these routes will still be treated in the event of icy conditions or following a forecast of prolonged icy conditions and following the satisfactory treatment of the priority 1 routes.

During periods of severe weather we grit and clear snow from 414 miles of priority roads across Flintshire. Stick to the priority routes to ensure the road you intend to use has been cleared and gritted.

View a map showing all priority 1 routes in Flintshire (new window)

Priority routes are the most important for road users and are used by people travelling for business, leisure, recreational, educational and domestic purposes. In other words priority routes are chosen to maintain transport connections for as many communities as possible.  They account for approximately 50% of the County’s highways and include at least one access road into each community.

How are the priority routes identified?

Priority routes are decided by road classification and usage. Once the priority routes are cleared we concentrate on priority two roads.   We do not clear / salt un-adopted roads, private driveways.  We also take into account any changes to roads / layouts due to new development etc. Once priority routes are clear, resources are then directed to the more minor routes.  However, if conditions deteriorate, we will concentrate out efforts back on the higher priority roads.

All roads within Flintshire have been classified as either priority 1, 2 or 3 routes.

Priority 1 - roads carrying substantial volumes of traffic having characteristics, which require protection from frost throughout the night.  These routes form the spinal road network of the Authority and merit high priority to sustain the free flowing movement of traffic.

Priority 2 - unclassified roads that form main distributor routes in both urban and rural areas and known problem areas i.e. sections of roads with significant gradients, exposed areas and other topographical features. These routes will be treated in periods of snow and prolonged ice once the Priority 1 routes are completed and subject to the availability of resources at that time.

Priority 3 - all remaining roads.  The treatment of these routes will normally be dependant upon the availability of appropriate resources following the satisfactory attention to priority 1 and 2 routes and will be restricted to operations carried out within normal working hours.

The percentage of the total road network treated as a Priority 1 by Flintshire County Council is above the all Wales national average.

Footways and cycle tracks are not included in the priority salting route. However, when covered by heavy snow/ice, high use footways such as town centres will be cleared and treated once resources permit.

Sudden weather changes

When there are sudden weather changes treatment may not be evident or effective. Please be aware:

  • it takes time before the salt is effective;
  • rain can dilute or wash salt off the roads, leaving them prone to ice;
  • in extremely cold weather salt will not prevent ice on roads;
  • when rain turns to snow at rush hour, the gritting vehicles will be hampered by traffic congestion;
  • if conditions are particularly severe, not even the service vehicles can obtain access to the road network.

There are some situations in which we cannot respond as quickly:

  • on a wet night followed by a rapidly clearing sky, salting will begin once the rain has stopped. In these conditions temperatures can fall very rapidly and the wet roads could freeze before the service vehicles have been able to salt them.
  • when dry roads are affected by dawn frost. This occurs when morning dew develops, falling onto the cold road and freezing on impact. It is impossible to predict accurately when or where dawn frost will occur.

How do I report a problem with a priority road?

Email streetscene@flintshire.gov.uk or call 01352 701234

Can I request a road is added to the priority route?

All roads are carefully surveyed before winter to determine their priority classification.  However, if you do feel conditions on a particular road are regularly dangerous enough to justify a higher priority you can contact us and we will consider your request (email: streetscene@flintshire.gov.uk) However our resources are limited and whilst we consider your request it may not be possible to agree.