In adverse weather conditions we treat the main routes across the borough to help keep traffic moving and to minimise delays and accidents.
Which roads will be treated and when
When the road temperatures are predicted to be at or below freezing, our gritting crews treat the main routes across the borough, this work typically taking place at night time and or in the early hours of the morning.
To find out what routes we treat, please view our gritting routes map.
Up to 56% of the borough's roads are treated when snow or ice are predicted and after snow has fallen. These roads cover about 280 miles, and they have been chosen because they are the most important ones to keep traffic moving. The criteria for selecting these roads are:
- 'A' or 'B' roads
- Main bus routes
- Approaches to transport interchanges eg railway stations, bus terminals and routes to them
- Approaches to fire,police, ambulance centres and hospitals
- Steep gradients
We are unable to respond to individual requests to treat specific areas, that are not included in the prioritised network.
Please note that Transport for London (TFL) is responsible for gritting red routes. Also where there has been a water leak, Thames Water or their contractors, are responsible for managing this hazard as appropriate.
Watch our video about gritting operations
Pavements and footways
These are treated in anticipation of ice and snow. Treatments are based on the following criteria
- Transport interchanges eg railway stations, bus terminals and routes to them
- Town centres
- Outside schools and safer routes to schools (walking bus routes)
To find out what pavements and footways we treat, you can check the winter services map.
How does the salt (grit) work
The material spread from our 'gritters' is salt not grit. Salt lowers the freezing point of water but it will not stop the snow settling. To be most effective it needs traffic moving over it.
We can stock up to 9000 tonnes of salt ready for the winter ahead. We are confident that our stocks will be sufficient to treat the networks through to the Spring.
We provide salt bins at locations that are not on the priority routes as a self-help facility. These bins have been placed at locations where drivers or pedestrians may need to put down salt in an emergency. Residents should not take salt away for use on their private driveways. The salt is intended for use on the highway. The bins are filled at the beginning of the winter season and may be refilled during the season, but we do not refill on an on demand basis.
Snow Friends scheme
Snow Friends are local people who volunteer to clear snow and ice in their street working as a group with a nominated co-ordinator, or with a local community group or Residents Association. Their help is invaluable as it enables our Winter Gritting and Snow Clearance Operations Team to concentrate on the priority routes. Find out more and how to become a Snow Friend.