Winter gritting

The council provides a winter service each year to keep the main roads and important areas clear and safe. 

The council monitors weather forecasts and road conditions and then decides on what action to take. The council's highway contractor is responsible for the gritting operations.

Before the start of the winter service season the council and its contractor ensure that there is enough grit in storage to get through the harsh winter months.

Gritting routes

We don't have the resources to grit every road across the borough so we prioritise the most important areas and only grit these. We grit primary routes when we expect frost, ice or snow. Secondary routes and primary footways are only gritted when we have snow conditions.

1. Primary routes

Gritting is carried out when the forecast is for freezing conditions and/or snow, these include:

  • major roads
  • main bus routes
  • width restrictions
  • steep inclines

2. Secondary routes

In addition to the above, when we have snow conditions we grit additional roads. These are places in the borough that are important to our residents and local businesses, for example a local shopping parade. These are gritted so that day-to-day activities can continue:

  • bus garages, ambulance stations, fire stations
  • major shopping centres
  • additional commuter routes

View our primary and secondary gritting routes

3. Primary footway areas

Primary footway areas are only gritted when we have snow conditions. The following footways are gritted:

  • town centres and local shopping parades
  • council run, supplementary and special schools
  • tube and rail stations
  • step or ramps leading to footbridges and subways
  • sheltered accommodation
  • NHS hospitals, clinics and health care centres
  • day care centres
  • residential homes

You can find advice from the Met Office Website about keeping safe during snow and freezing conditions 

You should never assume that all roads and footways have been gritted.  Always exercise extreme caution when walking or driving in winter conditions. 

In response to questions and comments we receive about our winter service we have put together some frequently asked questions.