Tag Archives: snow

How gritting works

The University of Kent’s Landscape Management team are always up early and working hard to keep the campus safe and serviceable for all. During icy weather, they grit the campus roads and footpaths to reduce the risk of accidents to staff, students, and visitors.

What many people do not realise is, there is a fine art to gritting. Timing is everything. If you go too early, you waste the grit, because it lands on a dry road and is blown away by the displaced air as vehicles drive past. If it is raining heavily then it just washes away. Ideally the grit goes down on a damp surface and starts to stick, but if you are too late the surface is already frozen and the salt has to work harder to be effective but it will prevent big sheets of ice forming.

The salt is hygroscopic which means that it attracts moisture from the air and it only becomes activated when it is ‘trafficked’. When the grit is driven over the salt grinds down and mixes with the moisture it attracts and becomes the ideal brine, a salty water, which is when it is most effective.

Similar to how local authorities manage gritting, the Estates department will grit all University of Kent roads and main footpaths before starting on other areas across the campuses. For more information see the University’s Snow and Ice Policy.

#GettingHomeForChristmas

There are only three weeks left of term (!) which means that it is time to start thinking about your journey home for the holidays. Whether you’re flying, driving, or taking a sleigh home, we’re here to offer some handy tips.

1. By bus:

Stagecoach express

Stagecoach, in partnership with Megabus, is now providing a new Stagecoach Express service along the M2. Running from Canterbury Bus Station, the service stops at Medway (Chatham and Gillingham) before terminating at North Greenwich Underground Station in London. North Greenwich is just a short tube journey from central London and its many National Rail train stations.

Unirider bus passes cannot be used on this service, however, students are entitled to a discount on walk on tickets, or you can book in advance and receive further discounts.

National Express

The National Express 022 from Canterbury to London Victoria stops at the Keynes bus stop six times a day. From London Victoria, you are able travel to many other UK destinations.

If you need to catch a flight, fear not, National Express provides cheap transfers to many airports, including; Gatwick, Heathrow, Stanstead, and Luton. For more information, check out their dedicated Airport Transfers page.

Students are entitled to the Young Persons Coach card, which offers a third off journeys for just £12.50 a year. This means that a single from Canterbury to London can cost as little as £5!

National Express also offer other discounts to their customers; please see their offers and cheap ticket pages for more details.

2. By train

National Rail

For Canterbury students, the South Eastern rail high speed from Canterbury West takes under an hour to transport you to St Pancras International in central London.

For Medway students, there are two train stations near the campus: Chatham and Gillingham. Both of these run the high speed service, and will get you to St Pancras in around 40 minutes.

From St Pancras, you can catch a train to hundreds of destinations throughout the UK, or catch a tube to one of the other stations serving National Rail across London.

St Pancras has a direct line to Gatwick and Luton airports, via the ThamesLink service. For all other airports, take a look at the TFL guide to London airports.

All full time students, regardless of age, are entitled to a 16-25 railcard from National Rail. The railcard costs just £30 for the year and saves you a third on all journeys.

Eurostar

We are very lucky to have quick links to Europe from our campus. From Ashford International, Ebbsfleet International (both on the high speed line to St Pancras) and St Pancras International, you can take the Eurostar to destinations in France, Belgium, and the Netherlands.

3. By car 

Car Share

Car share is not just for commuting, but can be used for single journeys, like getting home for Christmas. Why not see if you can find someone travelling the same way as you and share the costs with another student. You not only save money, but also the environment.

The University of Kent has worked alongside the University of Greenwich and Canterbury Christ Church to create a Liftshare page dedicated to university staff and students: Unishare South East. Unishare allows you the peace of mind to travel with other university staff and students. Simply follow the link to create an account.

Taxis

Travelling to a London airport from Canterbury or Medway campuses, costs in the region of £75 – £125. The cost will vary depending on which London airport you need to travel too. Try and find other students going to the airport, by using the car share database, so that you can split the cost.

If you need to get a taxi, remember to book in advance. Speak to a couple of taxi firms for quotes so you can get the best deal.

The University uses the services of the following taxi companies:

Canterbury: Cab Co, Cab Line 6 Ltd, Canterbury Galaxy Taxis, Canterbury Taxis, Croft Cars, Longley’s Private Hire, Longport Taxis, Wilkinson Taxis Ltd

Medway: ABC Taxis, Computer Cabs, Express Travel, HWS Taxis, Vokes Taxis

Understanding snow clearing

Snow ploughs only work effectively when snow is more than 5cm (2inches) deep. If snow fall reaches this level, Grounds Maintenance will use a combination of snow ploughs and other methods to clear the snow as snow ploughs cannot go over road humps or similar traffic calming measures.

Grit does not melt snow and therefore grit cannot be applied on top of deep snow. Refer to understanding gritting for more information on how gritting works.

Similar to how local authorities manage snow clearance, the Estates department will aim to clear all University of Kent roads and main footpaths before starting on other areas across the campuses. Please refer to the University’s Snow and Ice Policy for more information.

 

Understanding gritting

Timing is everything with gritting. If you go too early, you waste the grit, because it lands on a dry road and is blown away by the displaced air as vehicles drive past. If it is raining heavily then it just washes away. Ideally the grit goes down on a damp surface and starts to stick, but if you are too late the surface is already frozen and the salt has to work harder to be effective but it will prevent big sheets of ice forming.

The salt is hygroscopic which means that it attracts moisture from the air and it only becomes activated when it is ‘trafficked’. When the grit is driven over the salt grinds down and mixes with the moisture it attracts and becomes the ideal brine, a salty water, which is when it is most effective.

Similar to how local authorities manage gritting, the Estates department will grit all University of Kent roads and main footpaths before starting on other areas across the campuses. For more information see the University’s Snow and Ice Policy

Learn about snow clearing.

Adverse weather- plan your journey

As the weather starts to get colder, please ensure you are familiar with the University’s ‘Pay during periods of severe weather conditions/ major transport disruption’ policy and procedure to understand what to do during adverse weather. Remember that weather can change at any time. Be prepared for this before you start your journey.

Where possible the Transport Team will tweet from @unikent_travel with travel information.

Driving
Ensure that you and your vehicle are prepared for driving in adverse weather conditions. Read some top tips to prepare for driving during the winter and don’t forget to plan your journey before you leave so you are aware of any disruptions.

Public transport, cycling and walking

  • Plan your journey, check if there are problems on public transport or local roads
  • Delay your journey, if possible, to allow temperatures to rise and ice or snow to melt
  • Avoid footways in the shade. It takes longer for ice or snow to melt in the shade
  • Always wear appropriate footwear and reflective/bright clothing
  • Ensure that you have a torch or lights so motorists and others can see you when walking or cycling
  • Plan your journey and be prepared for times of adverse weather.

Thank you for your patience during adverse weather

We would like to thank you all for your patience and understanding during the recent adverse weather disruptions to travel and parking at the University.

We would also like to thank everyone who tried to keep the University operational, particularly Grounds Maintenance, Campus Security and the FM Team at Medway for helping with snow clearance.

If there is further adverse weather predicted, please check our planning your journey webpage and follow @unikent_travel and @CampusShuttle on twitter to keep up to date.

Large applicant day parking disruption cancelled and adverse weather

There is a large applicant day at Canterbury campus on Wednesday 28 February, as noted in the transport team newsletter, which is sent out every two weeks. 167 spaces will be reserved in Giles Lane car park, as requested by Enrolment Management Services. Where reasonable, you may want to consider alternative means of travel to and from campus, or allow more time for your journey.

Update: The large applicant day has been postponed due to adverse weather. Therefore the parking bays will no longer be reserved or this event.

As snow is forecast for this week, please take extra care and check with your travel provider before you travel. Our planning your journey webpage helps you plan your travel and provides useful links to check the status of your travel routes to and from campus.

Follow @unikent_travel on twitter for transport updates. The twitter feed can be viewed on the planning your journey webpage.

Understanding Gritting

Timing is everything. If you go too early, you waste it, because it lands on a dry road and is blown away by the displaced air as vehicles drive past. If it is raining heavily (like yesterday afternoon) then it just washes away. Ideally it goes down on a damp surface and starts to stick, but if you are too late the surface is already frozen and the salt has to work harder to be effective but will prevent big sheets of ice forming.

The salt is hygroscopic which means that it attracts moisture from the air and it only becomes activated when it’s ‘trafficked’. So when it’s driven over the salt grinds down and mixes with the moisture it attracts and becomes the ideal brine, a salty water, which is when it is most effective.

Estates staff have all been working hard to ensure that the University can continue to operate during these adverse weather conditions. Please be aware that Canterbury campus is over 300 acres and has many walkways, steps, roads, car parks, accessible ramps and cycle routes. Similar to how local authorities manage gritting, we grit these areas according to their priority as not all areas can be covered at all times.

We would like to thank Grounds Maintenance at Canterbury campus and FM team at Medway campus for being on site last night and the early hours of this morning to make sure the priority roads and footpaths are gritted.

Snow and ice- Canterbury and Medway campuses

At Canterbury campus Grounds Maintenance, Estates, have gritted priority roads, pathways and car parks throughout the night and this morning.

At Medway campus gritting contractors and the Estates FM team have gritted priority roads, pathways and car parks this morning. Access roads to Dockyard buildings are clear as Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust have gritted the roads onsite overnight and the Estates FM team have gritted the entrance to the buildings this morning.

Please drive carefully and take extra precautions when walking to and from your vehicle and around campus as some areas may still be slippery.

We recommend you check traffic news or your transport provider for travel updates during this adverse weather. Visit www.kent.ac.uk/transport/planning  for useful links to transport (and road) twitter accounts and service updates webpages.

We are also trying to tweet some travel updates from our @unikent_travel twitter account, which can also be viewed online at www.kent.ac.uk/transport/news