Our use of cookies We use necessary cookies to make our site work. Necessary cookies enable core functionality such as security, network management, website analytics and accessibility. You may disable these by changing your browser settings, but this may affect how the website functions. The cookies collect information in a way that does not directly identify anyone. For more information on how these cookies work, please see our privacy policy.

To agree to our use of cookies, click the 'Accept' button.
Accept
 

Winter service operations

Gritting (precautionary salting)

We have a duty to ensure, so far as reasonably practicable, that safe passage along a highway is not endangered by winter hazards such as frost, snow and ice.

‘Gritting’ is the precautionary salting of a highway network to prevent the formation of winter hazards.

How salt works

When salt is driven or walked over, this helps to dissolve the salt into a solution that lowers the freezing point of water. This is why treated motorways and other highways with high amounts of traffic will clear much more quickly than streets in residential areas where there is less traffic.

As salt becomes ineffective by -8c it is critical to treat a surface before winter hazards begin to form.

Our equipment

We retain one of the largest winter service operations with around 43% of our network, (1,700 miles) receiving precautionary salting treatment when forecasted conditions indicate this is necessary.

In order to keep the road network moving in Staffordshire our winter service involves:

  • Around 40 gritters and snow ploughs
  • Salt bins/piles
  • Approximately 20,000 tonnes of salt
  • Ice prediction weather stations across the county

Salt bins and salt piles

We know that many communities can become isolated during prolonged periods of snow and ice and in addition to our treated network we have nearly 3,000 salt bins/piles where criteria have been met for these to be provided. The restocking of these is completed by the same crews that undertake other highway maintenance activities such as gulley emptying or pothole repairs etc.

Salt bins/piles can be provided on routes that do not form part of the treated network. Locations which qualify have been risk assessed against a set of criteria that includes but is not limited to:

  • steep gradients
  • severe bends
  • junctions onto major routes

Precautionary salting routes

You can see the treatment network and the location of our grit bins using our interactive gritting route map.

For precautionary salting, the treated network is split into a two-tier hierarchy made up of a primary treatment network and an extended treatment network.

Primary treatment network

It would be impossible to provide precautionary treatments across the entire road network and our priority is to firstly keep major transport and freight links clear such as A and B roads and to target routes which carry high volumes of traffic.

Extended treatment network

The extended treatment network will only be treated when prolonged freezing and/or snow conditions are expected; it will not be treated in marginal weather conditions when such extended periods of ice and snow are not expected.

There are no results that match your search criteria


Latest transport news

Highways crews help keep frontline staff safely on the move during coronavirus pandemic

Highways teams across Staffordshire will be continuing their work to carry out road repair and improvement schemes across the county during the coronavirus pandemic.
Date:
03 April 2020

Concessionary bus passes to be used before 9.30am in Staffordshire

Staffordshire County Council has asked all bus operators which accept concessionary bus passes to begin accepting them before 9.30am with immediate effect.
Date:
19 March 2020

Widening works on busy Stafford road set to begin next week

The first phase of works to widen a busy road in Stafford begin next Monday, March 23.
Date:
16 March 2020

Plans for changes to town's high street set out at public event

People will be able to have their say on plans for safety improvements in Burton's High Street at a consultation event on March 17.
Date:
12 March 2020

Visit the Staffordshire Newsroom