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Ready for the winter

Published: 4 October 2022

We're on standby now the official gritting season has started.

Our 35 gritting lorries – which can all be fitted with ploughs – are now stationed at 5 highways depots ready to take to the roads if bad weather hits. Around 25,000 tonnes of grit is also stockpiled.

Parish and town councils have been filling their 1,250 grit bins for local residents to spread salt on pavements and salt in their local communities. We also provide 803 grit bins.

Councillor Kewal Singh Athwal, our Cabinet Member for Highways Assets and Transport, said:

“We are starting the winter with a huge stockpile of grit, and teams ready to go out 24/7 to deal with frost, ice or snow.

“We receive detailed weather forecasts several times a day, and these help us with the decisions we make about gritting.

“Everyone involved are ready to deal with whatever winter weather comes our way.”

We grit major A roads, heavily-used B roads, key bus routes, roads linking towns and larger villages and roads outside bus, train, police, fire and ambulance stations.

These are gritted during the day and night, when necessary, and are pre-gritted before bad weather hits. These roads are termed ‘primary’ gritting routes.

Other roads that are gritted include bus routes in residential areas and well-used main roads through housing estates and villages and roads to smaller villages.

These roads are ‘secondary’ gritting routes and are generally only treated in the day because they tend to be residential roads carrying much less traffic. When possible, secondary routes are treated before adverse weather hits, but they are less of a priority than roads on primary routes.

Some other roads, generally in rural areas, may also be cleared by farmers if it snows and other contractors with ploughing equipment.

Volunteers recruited through town and parish councils also clear snow and ice from pavements in their local communities as part of our Snow Warden scheme.

When the weather is exceptionally bad gritters concentrate on keeping just some of the major routes open. These are known as ‘principle’ routes.

Find more information about our preparation for winter