Active Travel during winter: Hot topic, Cold Challenge for Footways and Cycleways
An unexpected upshot of 2020 has been the increase in cyclists and pedestrians substituting the car for other forms of Active Travel. New footways and cycleways have been popping up in towns and cities across the UK to accommodate the increase in exercise brought on by the pandemic.
The UK government are supporting Councils and Roads Authorities with funding to cater for the population’s re-newed motivation. An increase in Active Travel can have major benefits to the economy, the health and wellbeing of the population and importantly, the environment. Councils and Roads Authorities right throughout the UK are evaluating how best to recoup these benefits for their local communities.
Vital to the success of these new routes will be ensuring these new footways and cycleways are well maintained throughout the year. At some stage, people will be asking?
“How will we keep frost off the footway?”
It will normally come down to the Winter Service team to work out the answer. There are many similarities to a traditional Winter Service however, there are some key differences too. Choosing the right equipment and de-icing material is important and that’s where Peacock Salt can help.
On surfaces which have infrequent or little traffic, like cycleways, de-icing liquids can be more effective than dry salt alone. The de-icing liquid begins de-icing the surface immediately upon impact, without the need to be agitated for it to begin de-icing. Evaluating the cost, quality and environmental demands is a good place to start when choosing which de-icer to go with. Sodium Chloride Brine is a relatively low cost and effective solution and we can help Winter Service teams produce brine on site or can deliver in 1,000L IBC tank or Tanker. Depending on the infrastructure surrounding the footway or cycleway, we have a low corrosive liquid called Pro-Brine. We can scale up even further by supplying Magnesium Chloride, Calcium Chloride right up to Viaform – an aircraft grade de-icer for extreme temperatures and with a relatively low chemical oxygen demand making it more suitable to use near marine life and metal structures. Where a granular de-icer is preferable, we have it covered with a wide range of de-icers from standard rock salt through to low and non corrosive de-icers available from 7 different locations around the UK.
It’s important to invest in equipment which is designed for the rigours of Winter Service and which is designed to handle de-icing liquid. The Hilltip Spraystriker uses a simple control system to administer de-icing liquids at an accurate ml/m2 reading. This is perfect for teams transitioning into using brine for the first time. The treatment data can be recorded on a web portal called HTrack which even lets Operations Teams programme in application rates online and then report each day on a map output. This helps claims management and builds trust with the community who may not be familiar with de-icing liquids.
Installing Hilltip Snowstriker snow ploughs on vehicles may also be necessary to keep the footway clear of snow. Hilltip units are compatible with all European spec vehicles including ATV’s Compact Tractors and pickup trucks. Unfortunately, the Highway 18 Tonne Spreaders won’t fit between those bollards and barriers but some of the other council fleet, will! Peacock Salt are the UK importers of Hilltip. Based in Finland, Hilltip are Europe’s no.1 Manufacturer for Winter Equipment for light vehicles. There are now over 200 Hilltip units in the UK, fully backed up by over 20 service facilities and excellent driver training resources.
Peacock Salt are the ideal partner for helping Local Councils and Roads Authorities adapt their Operations to keeping Active Travel safe during the winter months. Visit our website or contact a member of our team who will be happy to discuss and establish a fit-for-purpose solution.