South Tarrant Valley Group Parish Council

Inclement Weather Plan



Snow falls are becoming increasingly rare events in Dorset which means that when they do occur Parish Councils should have contingency plans that are readily accessible to local communities.

South Tarrant Valley Group Parish Council[2] (the Parish Council) does not have a statutory duty to either prepare snow contingency plans or to undertake snow and ice clearance. Nevertheless, the Parish Council is best placed to set down information and guidance for its parishioners as to where information concerning road clearance may be found. Also to provide practical assistance for local self-help.

Legal Liability – Government Advice[3]

  • Clear snow from a road, path or cycleway

You can clear snow and ice from pavements yourself. It’s unlikely that you’ll be sued or held responsible if someone is injured on a path or pavement if you’ve cleared it carefully.

  • How to clear snow and ice

When you clear snow and ice:

  1. do it early in the day – it’s easier to move fresh, loose snow
  2. don’t use water – it might refreeze and turn to black ice
  3. use salt if possible – it will melt the ice or snow and stop it from refreezing overnight (but don’t use the salt from salting bins as this is used to keep roads clear)
  4. you can use ash and sand if you don’t have enough salt – it will provide grip underfoot
  5. pay extra attention when clearing steps and steep pathways – using more salt may help
  • Council Gritting

You can find more about what action Dorset Council will take in icy or snowy weather by clicking on the following link:


The snow plan co-ordinator on the Parish Council will take the lead in co-ordinating local resources during adverse weather. This Councillor will monitor information from all relevant authorities and liaise with other key personnel and local contacts as to any action to be taken.


The co-ordinator is:

Stuart Thomson

Chapel Barn, Church Close, Tarrant Keyneston

Telephone: 451185

Mobile: 07979 797889



Kate Huck, Parish Clerk

Tel: 07721 406133


  1. It is expected that Dorset Council will perform precautionary salt spreading on all A and B roads. This should include the B3082.
  2. In the event of heavy snowfall it is expected that Dorset Council will perform snow clearance using snow ploughs on A and B roads and some well used roads. See Appendix 1 for statement from Dorset Council regarding snow clearance and their priorities.
  3. Most minor and unclassified roads such as Valley Road are unlikely to be cleared by Dorset Council. Clearance will rely on local efforts.
  4. In the event of severe snow Dorset Council will prioritise key North/South and East/West routes meaning, for example, that the A350 will take precedence over the B3082.

The following link to Dorset Council will provide information about the gritting and/or clearance of key routes and should be a key source of data for the Parish Council and for individuals.

Alternatively follow Dorset Council on Twitter via  for further and possibly more dynamic information.


Where possible this will be undertaken on a voluntary basis by local farmers. Clearance will happen only if the volunteers involved are confident that their actions in clearing snow will not lead to more serious issues such as compacted ice. Tractors could be used to clear snow – but not ice – and deliver grit to badly affected areas.


There are 3 bins in the following locations:

Tarrant Keyneston – 1) Valley Road at the entrance to the footpath to Crawford Church – beyond the Church on the left hand side approaching from the B3082. 2) St Richards Close at the top of the slope on the left-hand side near footpath sign.

Tarrant Rushton – At the T-junction adjacent to signpost.

These bins are filled by Dorset Council during late summer and are for use on the public highway only.

The Parish Clerk should be contacted if a grit bin needs replenishing.


Residents are advised to keep small bags of salt, readily available from DIY stores, to sprinkle on their own paths and driveways when severe weather is forecast. During bad weather, supplies of salt will be less readily available as stocks expire.

Any parishioner who is physically unable to clear their drive or pathway should, in the first instance, contact a neighbour for assistance. After that contact your local Parish Councillor to see if they can organise someone to help. See Appendix 2 for a list of current Parish Councillors.


Snow clearers have a duty to take reasonable care not to create new hazards such as piling up heaps of snow, blocking drains or leaving an area in such a condition as to make slips more likely.

Snow is easier to clear when it is fresh than when it has been compacted and frozen. Clearers should take care not to over-exert themselves.


The following is an extract from Dorset Council’s severe weather plan:

Precautionary salting will take place on the scheduled network on a pre-planned basis to help prevent the formation of ice, frost and / or the accumulation of snow on carriageway surfaces.

Post salting will normally take place on the scheduled precautionary salting network to treat ice, frost and snow that has already formed on carriageways. Post salting may in exceptional circumstances also be carried out on roads or sections of roads beyond the scheduled precautionary salting routes.

Spot salting may take place on parts or sections of the scheduled salting routes either to help prevent formation of ice, frost and / or accumulations of snow or as a treatment to ice, frost and the accumulation of snow that has already formed on the carriageway. Spot salting may in exceptional circumstances also be required on roads beyond the precautionary salting network.

When we salt

During the winter service period, Dorset Highways receives detailed weather forecasts for the five weather domains within Dorset. This data is based upon national weather forecasts and the data collected from 11 roadside weather stations positioned across the county.

Precautionary salting of the network is carried out when road surface temperatures are expected to fall below 1ºC unless:

  • road surfaces are expected to be dry and frost is not expected to form on the road surface
  • residual salt on the road surface is expected to provide adequate protection against ice or frost forming

Our salting routes

All A, B and well-used C class roads are treated, as well as:

  • links to hospitals, large industrial estates, transport interchanges, emergency services (including manned Coastguard and RNLI) stations and identified critical infrastructure
  • routes to all urban schools with more than 500 pupils and rural schools with more than 350 pupils
  • primary bus routes with a substantial frequency (school bus routes are not included)
  • main routes (that don’t meet criteria above) through towns and villages with populations of more than 750

This ensures that the roads used by the majority of the travelling public are treated, and accounts for around 28 per cent of the overall road network.

Secondary network

During prolonged periods where temperature remain at or below freezing community link routes – serving smaller villages and hamlets – will be treated as resources allow.

These routes will also be pre-treated – where resources allow – when snow is forecast and will be ploughed and salted following snowfall once priority ploughing routes remain clear.

Footways and cycleways

There is no precautionary salting of footways, pedestrian precincts or cycleways by Dorset Highways as it is impractical and financially draining to carry out.

However, there is a certain amount of salt overspill onto footways and cycleways when precautionary salting is being carried out on adjacent roads.

Post-salting of footways and cycleways will be carried out on a priority basis during severe weather as resources permit.

The county council does not salt roads in Bournemouth which is the responsibility of Bournemouth, Poole & Christchurch Council (BCP)

or the A31 and A35 (west of Bere Regis) trunk roads, which are treated by, and the responsibility of the Highways Agency.




Tarrant Crawford:

Nick Parker

Telephone: 857453

Mobile: 07836 265756

Tarrant Keyneston:

Stuart Thomson

Telephone: 451185

Mobile: 07979 797889

Chris Garland

Telephone: 480293

Pam Eaton

Telephone: 454559

Mobile: 07747 119808

Maggie Topliss

Telephone: 269204

Debbie Beale

Telephone: 453686

Tarrant Rushton:

Tim Munford

Telephone: 459582

Nick Harding

Telephone: 458318

Mobile: 07887 773870

Mark Deketelaere

Mobile: 077360 71703

Tarrant Rawston

James Cossins

Telephone: 452769

Mobile: 07836 729475

Andy Sweetland

Telephone: 488774

Mobile: 07979 570938

[1] Version 2.02 November 2020

Author: Cllr Stuart Thomson

[2] Comprises Tarrants Crawford, Keyneston, Rushton and Rawston

[3] Source – search “snow code”

Please use this link to download / view the Inclement Weather Plan as a PDF document