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Snow clearance

Find out how to safely clear snow and ice from pavements and public spaces.

Clearing snow from pavements and paths

There is no law to stop you from clearing snow and ice on the pavement outside your property and pathways to your property or public spaces.
It is unlikely that you would face any legal problem, as long as you are careful, use common sense and don't make the pavement or pathway more dangerous than before. 

Be a good neighbour

Some people may be unable to clear snow and ice on paths leading to their property or indeed the footway fronting their property.

Snowfall and cold weather pose particular difficulties for them gaining access to and from their property or walking to the shops.

Help them when possible to clear snow and ice from their walkways.

What you can do to clear snow and ice

  • Start early: it is much easier to remove fresh, loose snow than ice packed by people walking on it.
  • Don't use hot water: the snow will melt by may refreeze causing black ice, which can be dangerous.
  • If you shovel snow, think about where you are going to put it, so that it does not cause more problems.
  • Clear a pathway down the middle of the area first, so you have a clear surface to walk on. Shovel the snow from the centre to the sides.
  • Spread salt on the area you clear as this will prevent ice forming. You can use table salt but don't spread it on plants or grass. A tablespoon for each square metre will do.
  • Make sure you remove snow from steps and steep gradients. You might need more salt.
  • Use the sun. Removing the top layer of snow will allow the sun to melt the ice beneath; but you will need to cover any ice with salt to stop it refreezing overnight.
  • If there is no salt nearby, you can use a little sand or ash substitute. It doesn't have the same de-icing properties as salt but can provide a good grip for pedestrians.
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