Winter Maintenance

Our Winter Maintenance Team are responsible for keeping the city moving during the colder months and have a Winter Maintenance programme in place which runs from 01 October to 30 April each year to deal with snow. They also deal with other emergency events such as flooding and high winds.

Snow & ice on the road - whist heavy snowfall is not a frequent occurrence in Portsmouth, the Winter Maintenance Team are fully prepared to deal with it when it happens. The depot in Farlington has a salt barn which is kept stocked up and can hold 850 tonnes. It is the Winter Maintenance team’s priority is to ensure all transport routes in and out of the city, including major bus routes and access to places like hospitals, schools, train & bus stations and shopping centres, are clear and accessible. For gritting and salting, Colas prioritise the city’s roads according to their use and continually salt the main routes all the time snow is falling and will then move on to other roads when the snow stops.

Salt bins - There are 79 salt bins across Portsmouth and these are for public use. Residents are encouraged to use the salt wisely and remember it is not for use on private property.

Click to download priority roads and salt bin locations Colas Road Salting Priority Map »

Flooding – As well as snow, the team make every effort to combat flooding. There is a drain cleaning programme which has a planned maintenance programme as well as reactive attendances if they become blocked. Colas inspectors regularly inspect the drains as well as uneven surfaces which may cause ponding and react to any blockages or issues that may hinder water drainage.

High winds - weather reports are monitored on a daily basis to identify any potential adverse weather conditions such as high winds. The Highways and Grounds Maintenance teams are on hand day and night to deal with any reports such as fallen trees, broken branches or removal of any items which may have blown onto the roads and pavements.

Out-of-hours - Colas operates 7 days a week, 24 hours a day and out of normal working hours. This means that during the harshest of weather conditions, at any time of the day or night, our teams are available to ensure residents and road users are safe using the city’s highway. 

Useful tips for this winter

Keeping safe on the move - During particularly harsh weather conditions, whether that is high winds, storm conditions or heavy snowfall, Colas works with Portsmouth City Council to advise residents and road users on travel availability. If you must travel, the advice is to be extra careful when walking and when driving, slow down and allow extra time for your journey. It can take as much as 10 times longer to stop on snow or ice so please observe extra stopping distances. Keep a stock of essential items in your vehicle such as a shovel, warm clothes and blankets, a torch, drinks and long-life snacks, first-aid kit, mobile phone with in-car charger and an ice scraper/de-icer.

Clearing pavements - Colas’ advice for clearing pathways would be to do this as soon as possible once it has laid, this is when it is easier to move fresh, loose snow. It is not advisable to use water to try to defrost paths, driveways or roads. The water is likely to freeze and turn to black ice. Where possible use salt, this will melt snow and ice and stop it from refreezing overnight. Also, ensure snow piles are out the way of pedestrians – do not leave them where people can trip over them. Ash and sand are both a good alternative to salt and will provide grip underfoot. See download above for salt bin locations.

Useful Contact information:

Colas Limited
02392 310900 (in and out of hours)

First Bus
0345 602 0121

0345 121 0190

National rail enquiries
0345 748 4950

0871 200 2223

For more information on what action Colas are taking on a daily basis, please follow @ColasPortsmouth on Twitter