Cold weather, ice and snow
In freezing temperatures we spread a mixture of grit and salt on roads and pavements, which improves your grip and melts ice.
Every day we get a specialised weather forecast from MeteoGroup Ltd. This predicts the possibility of freezing road temperatures and snow, and when these conditions may occur. If we receive such a warning, we grit the roads..
From the time we call out our gritting lorries, Priority 1 routes will be treated within 2 hours, Priority 2 routes within 4 hours and Priority 3 routes within 48 hours.
First we will grit the borough’s busiest roads, including those with bus routes or a high risk of accidents in freezing conditions. The three levels of priority are:
- Priority 1 - Strategic routes, principal roads, important classified roads and bus routes
- Priority 2 - All other classified roads, important unclassified roads and bus routes
- Priority 3 - During long periods of lying ice or snow, minor access roads in hilly or exposed locations, and sometimes important footway routes, will be treated
We'll only consider Priority 3 routes during severe conditions, when all other priorities have been fully treated and resources become available.
- Map of priority gritting - roads (pdf 3.2MB)
- Map of priority clearing and gritting - footways (pdf 3.2MB)
We will only grit pavements once snow has fallen and settled and usual street cleansing duties are suspended.
If you have any questions about gritting or snow clearance, please email email@example.com.
Only travel in bad weather if your journey is absolutely necessary. If there is snow or ice on the ground we advise you to stay indoors until we have been able to grit the roads and pavements.
Advice for drivers
If you are driving during periods of cold weather please take care on untreated surfaces which may be icy. We grit our priority routes in the borough but the effectiveness of road grit is limited when temperatures fall below -5°C.
Please see the advice from the MET Office: Driving in severe weather
For more advice on winter weather and travelling, please visit the Met Office website.
Older and vulnerable people
- Stay tuned to the weather forecast. Ensure you are stocked with food and medications in advance (have deliveries or ask a friend to help).
- Take the weather into account when planning your activity over the following days.
- Avoid exposing yourself to cold or icy outdoor conditions if you are at a higher risk of cold-related illness or falls
- Check room temperatures If you or someone else is likely to be restricted to one room during the winter period or during a cold spell, make sure that it can be kept at or above 21°C during the day and 18°C during the night.
- Discuss with friends and neighbours about clearing snow and ice from the front of your house and public walkways nearby, if you are unable to do this yourself
- If you have to go out, make sure you dress warmly and wear non-slip shoes. Also tell someone where you are going and let them know when you get back. If you have a mobile phone, keep it charged and on you at all times
- Keep active
- Dress warmly, eat warm food and take warm drinks regularly
- Visit NHS's Keep Warm, Keep Well page for more information on how to keep yourseld warm and healthy
Schools may sometimes close during very bad weather. Your child's school will text you if it is going to be closed. If you are unsure, check directly with the school before you travel. H&F schools contact details
Advice on how to stay warm and healthy during the cold weather
The MET Office website how to get ready for winter has information on how to keep warm, healthy and safe during cold weather.