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How Portsmouth City Council is keeping residents safe and warm this winter

With icy weather forecast over coming weeks, Portsmouth City Council are preparing to keep residents safe and warm this winter by road gritting, helping the homeless, providing information on warm spaces and giving public health and road safety advice.

Regular gritting of the roads is now being carried out by Colas. They prioritise vital transport routes in and out of the city, major bus routes, and major routes to hospitals, schools, shopping centres and other public services. Plan journeys and take extra care when traveling during icy conditions. In extreme conditions they also salt pavements near major shopping areas, hospitals, transport hubs, schools and other public areas. There are salt bins around the city, and residents can use the salt on pavements in their local area but not on private property.

In icy conditions, the risk of falls increases so it’s especially important to look out for elderly friends, relatives and neighbours. Cold weather can make some health problems worse, especially residents aged 65 or older, or with a long-term health condition. Ensure they are stocked up on medicines and groceries, including tinned/long-life food, and offer to get things for them to save them going out.

Leader of Portsmouth City Council, Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, said: “Our council services are preparing for winter and want to make sure resident are safe and well as temperatures drop. We know this winter will be more challenging for many with increased energy prices, so it is more important than ever that we look after our friends, family and neighbours. Our cost of living hub provides useful information for residents who are struggling and a list of warm and welcoming places in the city.”

These tips may help with staying safe and keeping warm this winter:

  • A list of warm and welcoming spaces opening their doors to Portsmouth residents this winter can be found at or call the Hive Helpline on 023 9400 7124 and request warm spaces information
  • For advice on energy costs and keeping your home warm visit the council’s cost of living hub at  or call the dedicated cost of living helpline on 023 9284 104
  • Have plenty of warm food and drinks and keep warm at home with layers, thick socks, blankets and a hot water bottle
  • Try to heat the rooms used most to at least 18°C if possible
  • Keep heat in by shutting doors and windows, blocking draughts and shutting curtains before sunset
  • If driving, riding a Voi e-scooter or cycling –  slow down – it can take 10 times longer to stop in icy conditions, so allow extra room.
  • If you are driving check the Highway Code for advice on driving in icy weather.
  • If going out, dress warmly and wear shoes with good grip
  • There are groups around the city such as GoodGym and the Good Neighbours scheme that can help with tasks around the home or running errands. Visit the HIVE Directory or contact the HIVE helpline on 023 9400 7124 for more details.

When there is a weather warning for cold weather in place outreach teams and community wardens make sure rough sleepers are aware of the opportunities to come in and keep warm. The most recent count showed 16 people sleeping rough in the city. They have all been offered support by the council, who are working with them to move them into accommodation. This total is a snapshot, as the number varies from week to week.

The council funds the Rough Sleeping Hub in Southsea, open daily from 8am to 4pm – including Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. It provides showers, laundry facilities, lockers, internet access, a postal address, and advice on housing, health and benefits. People can make an appointment to use the Rough Sleeping Hub in person or by calling 023 9288 2689. Anyone who is concerned about someone they think is sleeping rough can go to so outreach workers can try to put them in touch with the help available.

For information on keeping warm and well in the winter months visit

For more information on travel in the winter visit and follow @Portsmouthroads on Twitter.