With wintry conditions forecast this week, the Department of Infrastructure is coordinating efforts to keep the Island moving.
The Isle of Man Met Office is warning of a cold snap for the next few days, with a risk of ice on high ground as temperatures drop below zero.
In response, the Department is ready to deploy its bulk gritters to help maintain safe driving conditions on primary routes.
Priority is given to roads that carry the heaviest traffic, as well as key bus routes and roads to hospitals, fire stations and schools. Details of winter gritting routes are highlighted on the Government website at www.gov.im/gritting
Officers from DOI’s Highway Services Division liaise with the Met Office when adverse weather is forecast. Warnings of sub-zero conditions, ice and frost act as a trigger for discussions about which locations to grit.
Roads are usually treated after the evening rush hour or from 5am before the morning commute. Grit is spread before ice and frost forms to try to prevent roads becoming treacherous.
People are encouraged to take responsibility for driveways and footpaths outside their own properties. Grit is free to collect from the Island’s civic amenity sites and from 850 salt bins placed in residential areas and strategic locations around the Island.
Infrastructure Minister Ray Harmer MHK said:
‘The winter months bring freezing temperatures and challenging driving conditions. The Department’s gritting crews are sent out at night or during the early hours of the morning during bad weather to pre-treat roads around the Island. This is an important part of our work to keep people safe and to reduce the number of accidents.’
David Anderson MLC, DOI Member with responsibility for Highway Services, added:
‘The Department prioritises strategic routes to assist the largest number of people first, as it is not possible to treat the entire network. Motorists should always take care and drive according to the conditions, as even treated roads may not be entirely free from ice. In difficult conditions people are advised to use the main routes where possible, slow down and allow extra time for their journey.’