Snow clearance gritting teams 24/7 operations

Published Monday, 8 February 2021

Borough wide snow at the weekend, including overnight, has meant that gritting and snow clearance crews have salted all 280 miles of main routes, with this work continuing.

The predicted low daytime temperatures at close to or below freezing will mean that gritting crews will treat main routes frequently as needed, with further work being planned. Local residential side streets are not part of the council’s gritting or snow clearance operation, and volunteer resident Snow Friends are concentrating their efforts in these residential locations.

Councillor William Huntington-Thresher, Executive Councillor for Environment and Community Services said, “We have been working over the weekend and continue to do so today, with our around the clock operations designed to keep all main routes across the borough free of ice and snow as far as we can. In these type of conditions, we need to keep applying salt. This will be a challenging week as predicted low daytime temperatures are expected for most of the week, which will mean that fallen snow may linger longer and turn to ice, making conditions more difficult.”

Councillor Huntington-Thresher continued, “We have stayed in touch with our Snow Friends over the winter and I would like to thank them and residents for their snow clearance support on their road, with our work concentrating on the main routes. Please take extra care when out and about in these conditions.”

Salt is routinely used to prevent ice or frost forming. To ensure that this is effective, in periods of more extreme wintry weather, salting needs to take place on a frequent basis. The council’s purpose built gritting vehicles, equipped with GPS tracking software, focus salting operations on the main 200 miles of road out of the 500 miles of borough roads, with snow clearance also taking place on these routes if needed. When snow falls, the snow needs to be removed from the road, often with a squeegee or snow plough, and then salt is applied. The dedicated fleet is then supplemented with other vehicles to assist with snow and ice removal.

Snow clearance and salting on high footfall areas will also take place, with this labour intensive process focused on town centre shopping areas, approaches to schools and transport interchanges.

For gritting progress, including a map of where the priority gritting routes are, go to the council’s website, with up to date information about waste collection disruption also available by visiting


  • Editor’s notes - 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.