Winter roads maintenance
During wintry conditions our overnight gritting programme makes the roads safer and free of ice for morning traffic.
We aim to keep the most important roads clear during the winter, which includes all main roads and bus routes. This is approximately 300km of main roads, more than a third of our entire road network.
We are unable to grit every road in the city, so we provide grit bins for residents to grit roads, footpaths and known trouble spots. You can download a list of grit bin locations at the bottom of the page. The grit is not for use on private driveways and property.
Pedestrians are advised to take extra care as footways are not gritted. During periods of heavy snowfall, when conditions permit, snow is cleared from footways in the city centre shopping area, other shopping areas and heavily used pavements.
To have a grit bin refilled, complete the online request form using the link above.
Gritting questions and answers
Which roads do you grit?
Whilst we would like to be able to grit all roads, we do not have the resources required and we therefore have to prioritise the roads we treat. We cover 180 miles worth of roads in grit, with the priority for salting and snow clearing treatment being main roads, bus routes and other important commuter routes. You can find the gritting route map at the bottom of this page.
Do you grit school routes and hospitals?
Yes – our gritting routes cover all local hospitals, fire stations and main police stations as well as many school routes.
How do I know if my road or route to work is gritted?
The forecaster, Meteo Group, issues a weather forecast, predicting road temperatures and when they are likely to reach freezing point. This forms the basis of the decision whether to salt/grit or not, what time to salt/grit and which parts of the route need to be treated.
Where are your grit bins located?
We provide 430 grit bins across the city. You can find details of your nearest one on the grit bin locations document at the bottom of this page.
My local salt bin is empty, can it be filled up?
If your local salt bin is empty please call customer services on 0116 454 1000 and we will refill the bin as soon as possible.
How can I get up-to-date information on gritting?
How many tons of salt do you have?
For the winter period we have more than 2,500 tonnes of salt in stores and our salt stock has a maximum holding of 2,700 tonnes.
How many gritters do you have?
We have 6 gritting lorries and use 4 of them on each gritting run. In severe snowfall, we will use all 6 of our lorries. We also have 15 specialist drivers and use 4 on each routine run. Our gritters are on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week should a problem arise.
How effective is salting the roads?
For salt to be most effective it requires the action of passing traffic to help activate it. The traffic helps mix salt into the snow, dissolving it into brine and melting the snowfall. Salt is less effective at temperatures below -5C and has no effect below -10C.
How will I know when you are going to grit?
We will post messages on our corporate social media accounts to let you know when we are going to grit. Our gritters will usually go out at night time, when less traffic is on the roads and it is safe to do so.
Is my child’s school closed?
If it's snowing or very icy some schools may be closed, so to find out if your child’s school is shut during heavy snowfall or icy weather, visit our Schools closures page.
Why were the roads I used to commute to work/my street still icy if you have gritted?
No guarantee can be given that roads will always be completely clear. Treated roads can still have icy patches so drivers need to drive carefully at all times during hazardous conditions or not at all where possible. Be aware that if it rains, that can wash away the salt, which means the roads may then re-freeze after they have been treated.
Ring us on: 0116 454 1000