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How we grit the roads

The Council aims to maintain and reinstate as quickly as possible the free and safe  flow of traffic on all routes during the winter period to ensure that vehicles and pedestrians can use them safely.

How do we decide when to treat the roads?

Every day from the 1st October to 30th April the Council receives the latest road condition forecasts from the weather centre. These are analysed very carefully by our specially trained staff and a decision is made on what action is required on that day.

Where the forecast does not give a clear indication of ice or snow, the Council can call upon a number of road sensors around the county, which can give up-to-the minute information on the surface temperature of the road.

What roads do we treat?

Precautionary salting of a predefined network of approximately 435km of main roads is carried out when the forecast indicates that ice or snow is likely.

View the map of the salting network.

  • Roads marked in red (high level routes) are the roads we salt when the forecast requires we only treat the high routes.
  • Roads marked in blue (low level routes) are the roads added to these when we treat the whole salting network.

How do we treat the roads?

Roads are treated with rock salt to prevent the formation of hazards.

Salting is timed so that it can be completed before the onset of the severe weather, but this may not be achievable if sudden changes in forecast or sub zero road conditions occur immediately after rainfall.

Salting is not carried out in cold, dry weather except to treat wet patches caused by standing water or seepage from banks or leakage of water mains.

For snowfalls up to a depth of 4 cm, salt is applied to the road surface at the maximum rate available.

When do we start ploughing the snow?

We usually start snow ploughing once the snow reaches a depth of around 4cm.

Dedicated snow ploughs are mobilised and as well as ploughing the snow will deposit salt onto the road surface to help reduce the build up.