We grit 46% of our 3820 kilometre (2368 mile) highway network. All roads cannot be treated due to budget, gritting vehicle size and mobilisation time.
When the formation of ice is predicted, it is our policy to grit:
- all main traffic routes, A roads, most B roads and one or other two other strategic routes;
- in urban areas, the accesses to hospitals and main industrial estates;
- a single route into all villages.
Schools are only gritted if they are already on the agreed gritting routes.
Adding new roads
To have a road added to the gritting route, an application should be made in writing to the area office and it will have to show some connectivity to the existing route.
Please still take care when roads have been gritted as there may still be ice on the road. And never assume a road has been gritted.
In the event of snowfall, the roads receiving gritting will be cleared as soon as soon as we can, starting in areas of the heaviest snowfall. Strategic link routes will be made accessible across the network first. Highly used footpaths and cycleways will also be cleared. When snow falls are heavy, at least one route into villages will be cleared.
We work with the National Farmers Union to increase the reserve of local snow clearing contractors, to help with snow clearance during periods of severe weather.
Footways and cycleways
If resources are available, the highest used footpaths and cycleways will be gritted during daylight hours, during periods of persistent wide spread ice (rather than frost) for more than 18 hours in a 24 hour period, and when temperatures are not forecast to rise above zero for 18 hours.
Rural and urban areas
Residents Associations and town councils can provide grit bins in locations that have been agreed with us. We will replenish these grit bins.
Members of the public can purchase grit bins but must get permission from us for their location.
The location of bins is strictly controlled and they tend to be authorised on estate roads, mainly cul-de-sacs, where drivers have no other way of exiting the road, which are away from precautionary gritted routes and have a steep incline.
Snow Wardens act as our eyes and ears. Their role is to notify the Council of any particular problems in their area; they are not expected to clear snow themselves. In response to a question raised the County Council are happy for householders to clear footpaths outside their house. No-one has been prosecuted for doing this.
The number of potholes on our roads increases during cold periods. Please report any potholes which could pose a safety hazard to cyclists, motorcyclists and car users.