Tips for clearing snow and ice

There is no law stopping you from clearing snow and ice on the pavement outside your property, pathways to your property or public spaces. People using areas affected by snow and ice also have responsibility to be careful themselves.

If an accident did happen, it's highly unlikely that you would be sued as long as you are careful and use common sense to make sure that you don't make the pavement or pathway clearly more dangerous than before.

The Department for Transport has issued a 'snow code' to clarify your rights and responsibilities when clearing snow and ice from public areas.

Here's some advice from the snow code

  • Start early – it's much easier to clear fresh, loose snow compared to compacted ice that has been compressed by people walking on it.
  • Make a pathway down the middle of the area to be cleared first, so you have a clear surface to walk on.
  • Don’t use hot water – this will melt the snow, but may replace it with black ice, increasing the risk of injury.
  • If shovelling snow - think where you are going to put it so that it doesn’t block people’s paths or drainage channels.
  • Be a good neighbour – some people may be unable to clear snow and ice on paths from their property.