First gritting of the winter

Published Wednesday, 21 November 2018

As temperatures hovered around freezing and with sleet forecast for some areas on higher ground, roads and rural country lanes around Chelsfield and Biggin Hill were gritted last night.

In the early hours of the morning, with minimal traffic and in between predicted sleet showers, gritting crews were out for the first time this winter season treating around 55 miles of roads at higher altitudes spanning from Biggin Hill across to Chelsfield. Detailed local weather forecasts are always used to make gritting decisions with these forecasts showing near freezing conditions in the south of the borough.

“Many people aren’t aware that crews have been out to grit as it’s usually done when most people are still asleep. We used nearly 4 tonnes of salt to grit the main routes in the south of the borough last night. This precautionary salt was timed for after the rain and sleet showers which would have washed the salt away and also timed for when the road temperature was predicted to be at its lowest point. Circumstances are beyond our control but our aim is to keep traffic moving when bad weather is predicted, so long before it’s here, we’re making preparations to respond” said Councillor William Huntington-Thresher, Executive Councillor for Environment.

Salting and snow clearance takes place on up to 280 miles of the borough’s 500 miles of roads – these routes are the main ‘A’ and ‘B’ roads: main bus routes, approaches to transport interchanges such as railway stations and bus terminals, approaches to fire, police, ambulance centres and hospitals and steep hills.

Ever changing weather forecasts mean work is constantly adjusted and during the season, residents can follow updates @BromleySnow or the council’s website If snow should occur, normal street cleaning duties are suspended and crews help clear snow from town centre pavements instead. Snow Friends help out too, concentrating on the local residential roads so more of the borough is free of snow and ice.

Motorists, pedestrians and residents are reminded to travel with caution in adverse weather conditions, and to check the council’s website for regular updates, including information on waste collections


Notes to editors:

  • The A21 and part of the A232 (West Wickham to Locksbottom) are maintained by Transport for London (TfL).  Consequently, TfL are responsible for gritting these roads, which form part of Red Route. 
  • For media enquiries, please contact Andrew Rogers, Communications Executive on 020 8461 7670 or email