Gritting

A Derbyshire gritter clearing the roads

You can see our gritting routes, roads that have been gritted and closures in our latest update section.


Our aim is to make the roads in Derbyshire as safe as possible for our road users and to minimise any delays caused by bad weather.

During the winter period we provide 24 hour cover to respond to weather conditions using a fleet of specialist salting and other vehicles.

We grit and clear snow and ice from around half the adopted roads and pavements in Derbyshire except for motorways and trunk roads, which are dealt with by the Highways Agency (opens in a new window) and the roads in Derby city (opens in a new window), which are the city council's responsibility.

Our gritting routes are split into three categories - primary, secondary and tertiary:

Primary routes

  • Are treated during the day and night and will 'pre-treated' before bad weather hits. Gritting continues 24 hours a day if necessary, as previously.

  • Cover around 1,000 miles of road.

  • Include major roads including all A roads and heavily used B roads, major bus routes, roads linking towns and larger villages and roads outside bus, train, police, fire and ambulance stations and hospitals.

  • Include at least one route into villages and roads serving schools, health centres and other community facilities such as GPs surgeries and parish halls, where possible.

Secondary routes

  • Cover around 550 miles of road.

  • Are generally only treated in the day with the first run being completed by mid-morning. This helps overcome problems of parked cars getting in the way of gritter vehicles doing their job on residential roads at night.

  • Include some bus routes not covered on the primary network, particularly in residential areas, and roads to smaller villages.

  • Include well-used main roads through housing estates and villages.

  • Are pre-treated before bad weather hits, where possible, but primary routes take priority. 

Tertiary routes

  • Include at least one route to isolated villages not already covered on the gritting network, where possible.

  • Include roads to some industrial areas and roads to schools not covered on primary and secondary routes.

  • Include roads serving old people's nursing and residential homes, where possible.

Working in partnership

We work in partnership with neighbouring councils to grit roads near the county border.

In exceptional circumstances where it is logical and more efficient to do so some councils' gritting routes extend into Derbyshire and we grit some of their roads in return.

Footpaths and cycle paths

We clear snow and ice from pavements, footpaths and cycle paths when we have staff available who cannot carry out their normal job because of bad weather.

Just like the road network, footpaths, pavements and cycle paths in Derbyshire are divided into priority routes. Priority is given to paths in town centres and clearance will be done during normal work hours.

District and borough councils have also signed up to help us clear snow and ice from pavements and paths.

We're also working with volunteers from town and parish councils around the county to help keep pavements and footpaths clear this winter. You can find out more about this in the Snow Wardens section.

You're welcome to use grit from any of the county's grit bins to grit public roads and footpaths. Please do not use on private property − you could be prosecuted. You can find out more about what to use on your own paths and driveways in the grit and salt bin section

Car parks

The maintenance of Derbyshire's car parks is normally the responsibility of the district and borough councils or Derby City Council.

See our page on car parking for links to the relevant councils.

When do we decide to grit

We receive regular and detailed weather forecasts which predict the conditions on Derbyshire's roads to help us decide when and where to grit.

During periods of very bad weather gritting the routes may take longer than usual. We'll use all our resources to clear the primary routes and the remaining routes in priority order.

Our gritter lorries travel at up to 30mph when they're spreading grit and drive according to the speed limit at all other times.

Watch our Gritter Cam video to find out what's like to be out on the roads gritting in bad weather.

Related documents

The following document is in Portable Document Format (PDF). You can download software to view PDF documents for free from the Adobe website (opens in a new window)

Also on our website

Information on other websites

Follow us on Twitter (opens in a new window) for the latest updates and enquiries or follow WinterHighways (opens in a new window) for winter weather updates on traffic and roads from the Highways Agency.

Derby City Council (opens in a new window) are responsible for gritting within the city.

How useful did you find this page?

Not useful

Very useful

Thank you for rating this page

You can provide further feedback using our Contact us form