Tort of what? When it stopped snowing I thought
I'll clear our own path and bit of pavement
in front of the house. But oh no, tut tut,
slap wrist! You're not suppose
to touch it! Why?

It's the local authority's responsibility to clear snow
and ice from the public highway. By sweeping snow
from one part of the pavement to another, if done in
a manner that caused injury to someone, there is a
chance legal action could be taken against you
under the part of the law known
as "tort of nuisance".

Of course! How silly of me! Honestly, this country!
For once people could do a simple thing that
would benefit everyone (if everyone did it)
but as usual it's too much to ask.

In parts of the world the public is expected to help keep
the streets clear of snow. In Minneapolis it's your
legal duty. The rules are strict: snow must be
removed from pavements outside homes
within 24 hours of snowfall ending.
However, they are given free
"sidewalk sand" to do the job.

If the public works department gets a complaint or
discovers that a pavement is not properly cleared,
it gives the property owner a chance to do it.
If the pavement has still not been cleared upon
re-inspection, city crews will do the job and the
home owner will be sent the bill.

The city of Boston is equally tough. The mayor's
website states people have a personal responsibility
to remove snow from "the full paved width of the
sidewalk or a minimum of 42 inches wide". Fines
can reach as much as $250 (£154) for
each day the snow is left.

There are also strict regulations in Germany,
Austria and Switzerland. Most German towns
have a "street cleaning statute". Snow-shovelling
requirements are spelled out in detail, even
down to the minimum width of the cleared
area and the time during which you
must keep the snow cleared.

EDIT 11.1.2010: And there they were, the council
men with their snow shovels, clearing the
pavements outside our house at 8 am.
Except now it's about +2 and the
snow is melting! Why oh why?!

Having listened to the scraping for 45 minutes
I'd just about had enough and if they hadn't left
right then I swear I would've gone out
there and hit them!

Plus why only on our road? None of the rest of the
neighbourhood was done. They never get it right
do they? Just create extra work for themselves
for no reason whatsoever. Also, the sand they
put down before it snowed is now lying
on the pavements in big lumps.

Here's a few tips for next time it happens: wait till it
stops snowing. Clear pavements with snow showel.
It will be easy as the snow is not packed tight
from being under everyone's feet for
days and freezing overnight.
Then grit. Simples.

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