Can you legally clear snow from the pavement and driveway outside your home?

The Beast from the East has finally hit Sheffield and covered many areas in a blanket of snow.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 28 February, 2018, 08:41
Snow outside a home in Sheffield

Residents woke up to incredibly wintry conditions this morning as many struggled to overcome the treacherous conditions on the icy roads.

Gritters have been out across the city throughout the night and early this morning but huge patches of snow still remain on pavements across estates.

However, many Sheffield residents are still nervous about clearing it for fear of getting punished.

But, clearing snow and ice from your drive and the pavement outside your home can actually help prevent slips and falls.

And the Met Office have reassured residents to not be put off doing it just because you're afraid someone will get injured.

In a statement, the Met Office said: "Remember, people walking on snow and ice have a responsibility to be careful themselves.

"And don't believe the myths - it's unlikely you'll be sued or held legally responsible for any injuries if you have cleared the path carefully."

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The Department for Transport echoed the statement by agreeing it was 'unlikely' that you would be sued for or held responsible if someone is injured on a path 'if you've cleared it carefully'.

In their guidance, the Met Office urged residents to clear the snow and ice early in the day, rather than hard snow that has packed together from people walking on it.

However, make sure you never use water as it might refreeze and turn to black ice. Black ice increases the risk of injuries as it is invisible and very slippery.

Use salt instead as this well melt the ice or snow and stop it from refreezing.

A Met Office spokesperson said: "When you're shovelling snow, take care where you put it so it doesn't block people's paths or drains.

"Make sure you make a path down the middle of the area to be cleared first, so you have a clear surface to walk on. Then shovel the snow from the centre of the path to the sides."