We spread grit when the Met Office forecasts frost or icy conditions, to try and stop ice from forming on the roads. We aim to have the grit lorries loaded within one hour.
However, due to our vast road network, it's not always possible to treat every road. Therefore we prioritise roads and bus routes that form most of our Primary Gritting Routes. We use a fleet of five gritting vehicles to grit the network in five pre-planned routes, spreading a total of 1700 tonnes of salt during an average winter. It will typically take each vehicle three to four hours to complete their route.
Which roads are gritted
Primary gritting routes
We grit 'primary' routes when road surface temperatures are set to go below freezing and ice, or frost has been forecast.
Primary routes are:
- main roads
- roads servicing hospitals, ambulance and fire stations
- roads servicing high schools
- bus routes with three or more buses per hour
Secondary gritting routes
We grit 'Secondary' routes after periods of prolonged ice or snow, and only when primary routes are considered safe.
Secondary routes are:
- roads servicing the hospice
- roads servicing industrial estates
- roads with less than three buses per hour
- roads servicing primary schools