Getting to vote during a cold snap
With a general election looming, people may have concerns about accessing polling stations in order to vote if the weather turns wintery and the roads become icy.
So what is planned?
The returning officers, who are responsible for the smooth running of the general election locally, will be working in partnership with Transport for Buckinghamshire (TfB) to check on the weather forecast daily in the week leading up to the general election.
In the event of a cold snap, roads which are traditionally gritted – the precautionary routes – will continue to be treated as normal. The more extensive secondary routes will also be gritted to increase the number of roads receiving treatment.
TfB has plotted the location of each polling station to identify those which are not in the vicinity of precautionary or secondary gritting routes and will, if resources and time allow, aim to ensure that the key routes leading to the polling stations are accessible. As an additional measure, where possible, road closures which are close to polling stations will be removed to enable access.
Routine daily gritting
TfB constantly monitors weather forecasts and road surface temperatures between October and April, and undertakes precautionary salting of around 44% of the entire network whenever there is a possibility of ice formation. It’s the road surface temperature (RST) that’s important, so when there’s a forecast for the RST to drop below +0.5 oC, the crews are alerted and the 25 gritters get ready to begin their work.
TfB has the limited resource of 25 gritters, and the safety of the precautionary network for road users will remain the number one priority even on election day.