Snow Team Charlotteville Jubilee Trust
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Snow in Charlotteville

2010 saw more severe snowfall in the UK resulting in Charlotteville and the surrounding area yet again brought to a standstill.  Many roads became congested and some became very dangerous.  All the schools were closed, some for a considerable length of time and many residents could not leave their homes to shop for even the most basic items.

The Trust therefore decided to see what could realistically be achieved to improve the situation for future snow events.  We contacted Mark Brett-Warburton, our Surrey County Councillor, and held some public meetings as a consultative process to discuss the experiences of fellow residents and to determine what could best be done.

Reports of empty and, in one case, stolen grit boxes showed the shortcoming of the further installations of these.  Each box costs £2400 which includes one refill per year for 10 years, this seems quite a high cost for something that usually ends up empty or stolen.

So we came up with a proposal for consideration by SCC whereby we would purchase and store grit salt and distribute it at times of severe weather to willing members of a 'Snow Team'.

Our Objectives

With the volume of snow we have experienced over the last couple of winters, it would be unrealistic for a team of local residents to keep the entire area clear and where do you put the snow!  Excessive gritting can cause serious pollution in our rivers and also has implications with regard to corrosion of metals &c.

So to start with we have set our objectives at a level that the committee felt could be realistically achieved.

We also decided that in order to achieve point 2 above we should encourage SCC to give Harvey Road a higher priority in the gritting rota.  We would then clear walking routes from Harvey Road to the schools.

SCC saw our objectives as a worthwhile and viable solution and offered to give us seed funding to start the project off.  Further funds will need to be raised from the community in the future, hopefully this won't be difficult if we can show residents that we are reaching our objectives and how worthwhile they are.

Walking Routes and Dangerous Roads

The map below shows the target routes we hope to keep open.  What will actually be achieved will be determined by the number of volunteers who can be encouraged to help.  As a minimum it would be a huge help if every resident to keep the front of their property clear.

Prosecution for Good Deeds

Many residents may be concerned about being sued for any accident that may result from their good work of clearing snow and/or ice.  The SCC line on this is that providing one doesn't make things worse, (i.e. pour boiling water on the snow which later freezes), there are no grounds for prosecution.

Clearing Snow

It is very important that the resources we have are used wisely, over use of salt for instance can lead to unnecessary pollution.  Shown below are some pointers to make snow clearance easier and less costly.

  1. Try and clear any snow as soon as possible, once it has been trodden or driven on, it is much harder.  If you need help or tools, call us (01483 598420) and we will see if we can get someone to help or to bring the right equipment.
  2. Clear enough snow so the pavement or road surface can be clearly seen.  the less snow left on the surface the less grit-salt required to treat it.
  3. If there is too much snow to disperse then ask neighbours if you can pile it in the front gardens &c.
  4. Once you have cleared as much snow as possible, either sprinkle an even layer of grit-salt on the surface or, for larger areas, give the Trust a call and we will book in a visit with our grit spreading machine.
  5. After that it's just a matter of keeping at it and hopefully encouraging your neighbours to help.


We have a number of tools in store and these include bright orange snow shovels, steel spades and shovels and of course the gritting machine!  If you are happy to store tools for use in your neighbourhood please let us know.

The map shows the walking routes that we aim to clear as soon after a snow event as possible.  Dependent on how much snow has fallen and the resources, (volunteers, equipment and salt supplies) we may well tackle other routes as well.

The red triangles are areas that have been identified as being of high risk and where an accident has or has nearly taken place in the past.  The objective is to clear at least 7 metres at the end of these roads in order to give vehicles that are out of control a fair chance of stopping.

We have been talking to SCC and they have said that Harvey Road would be raised within it's Category 2 ranking.  This will hopefully mean that it will be one of the first Category 2 roads to be gritted.  Thanks to our SCC Councillor Mark Brett-Warburton for this and, of course, for the initial seed funding.