Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
Where can I find out where my nearest grit bin is?
Find your nearest grit bin or Call Derbyshire tel: 01629 533190 and give us your postcode.
How do I report an empty or damaged grit bin?
Make a note of the grit bin number displayed on the lid.
Report a problem with a grit bin or Call Derbyshire tel: 01629 533190 or text: 86555.
Who do I contact if I’m concerned about severe snow and ice causing problems on the roads or to report which pavements and footpaths I’ve gritted?
In heavy snow and freezing temperatures our contact centre gets really busy with calls.
The quickest and easiest way to report problems on our roads in winter is by using the snow warden reporting form.
Where can I find weather forecasts online?
See the Met Office website.
How can I find out when roads in my area have been gritted?
We will contact you by email.
Where can I find information about road conditions and gritting in snow and freezing temperatures?
We’ll be providing regular updates about the situation on our roads.
Who do I contact if I’m concerned about the welfare of a friend, neighbour or relative?
Speak to them first and if you can’t help, Call Derbyshire tel: 01629 533190 or tel: 999 in an emergency.
For more information visit Snow buddies.
How can I find out if schools and libraries are closed and what council events are cancelled due to winter weather?
See our school closures or contact Call Derbyshire tel: 01629 533190.
Local radio stations will, of course, continue their important role in announcing closures too.
Can people use grit bins or salt heaps for private use?
Anyone is welcome to use grit from bins or salt heaps to make public roads and pavements safer for everyone.
They should not use it on their own private property including paths and drives – they could be prosecuted.
Where can I find the latest training for snow wardens?
You can watch our snow warden training for the latest guidance and information on the role.
Winter maintenance - key facts
We're not cutting our winter maintenance (gritting) budget. Last year we spent £2.94 million − overspending the £1.97 million budget by £0.97 million.
This year we have £3.97 million available. This includes £2 million in a contingency fund to be used if it is needed.
Around the clock
We’ll have a 24 hour per day, 7 day per week service and we’ll still grit 47% of our roads.
It means we’ll be able to target different roads at different times of the day and night.
You can see the proposed gritting routes.
More roads will be gritted and cleared with farmer contractors clearing our tertiary network, that is roads not currently in the precautionary network.
These roads mostly include access to villages, industrial areas and schools not on the precautionary routes.
Grit costs us around £33 a tonne to buy.
Last year we used around 13,000 tonnes − that's £429,000.
More gritting facts
We store 28,000 tonnes of grit in depots around the county so we’re prepared in case of a harsh winter.
We have 26 front line gritting vehicles with ploughs to attach to them if needed and more than 150 staff who work to grit, clear snow and co-ordinate our response.
We use rock salt to grit our roads. It de-ices roads by lowering the freezing point of water. It’s more effective when ground up by pedestrians and vehicles.
We use the latest weather forecasting technology and road temperature sensors to decide when we need to send out gritting vehicles and how much grit to spread.
Gritting doesn’t work at below 10C.
We get grit deliveries as and when we need them.
We’re responsible for maintaining and filling 1,319 grit bins and heaps across the county. District, borough, town and parish councils are responsible for a further 1,111 bins.
We don’t grit or clear snow from the A38, A628, A50 or the M1. Highways England is responsible for these roads.
There's no law stopping you from clearing snow and ice on the pavement outside your home or from public spaces. So it's unlikely you'd be sued or held legally responsible if someone was injured on the path if you clear it carefully.
Just follow these simple steps set out in the government’s Snow Code:
Clear the snow or ice early in the day and cover the path with salt before nightfall to stop it refreezing overnight.
Use salt or sand - not water. Help prevent black ice by spreading some salt on the area you have cleared. Use ordinary table or dishwasher salt - a tablespoon for each square metre you clear should work. Sand or ash won’t stop the path icing over as well as salt, but will provide good grip under foot. Be careful not to spread salt on plants or grass – it could damage them.
Take care where you throw the snow 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.
If your neighbour will have difficulty getting in and out of their home, offer to clear snow and ice around their property as well – especially if they’re elderly or disabled and depend on home health and social care support services which may need to reach them. Check on elderly and disabled neighbours to make sure they have enough heat and food. If you're worried about them in any way please Call Derbyshire tel: 01629 533190.
Pay extra attention to clear snow and ice from steps and steep pathways - you might need to use more salt on these areas.