Winter services and gritting

We carry out road gritting (or salting) from November through to April to keep road users safe in conditions of snow, ice and frost.

Follow the gritting team on Twitter for regular updates throughout the gritting season.

Gritting routes and salt bins

View larger map

Our gritting routes are highlighted in blue.

Salt bins are located at key points to encourage 'self-help' for treating the highway; these are shown on the map above in red. You can find out more information about individual bins by clicking on the red icons.

Please note: Salt in these bins is not for use on footpaths.

Road gritting times

Gritting is carried out when:

  • road surface temperatures are predicted to drop below 0°C
  • frost or ice is expected to form on the road
  • snow is forecast

Gritting times may be impacted by factors outside of our control:

  • gritting takes up to two hours and is normally completed by the start of the working day, but delays can occur due to traffic conditions
  • normally, precautionary gritting is carried out in the evening or early morning; during severe weather conditions we may spread grit at other times
  • priority is given to the inner and outer ring roads and connecting roads; secondary gritting routes are treated if resources are available
  • we aim to allow vehicles to move safely on the roads, however gritting is limited by the resources available to us
  • if rain is forecast, we have to delay gritting to stop grit being washed away
  • if it snows, we carry out further gritting and ploughing where needed
  • if frost follows rain in the early hours, or freezing occurs unexpectedly, there may not be enough time to grit the entire priority network before the morning rush hour; motorists, therefore, should drive with caution and not assume that gritting has been carried out

What we can do

We can:

  • carry out precautionary gritting on primary routes when there is a risk of frost, ice or snow
  • clear snow from roads in order of priority
  • keep you informed (via the media) as far as possible
  • grit city centre footpaths

What we can't do

We cannot:

  • grit motorways or trunk roads, as these are the responsibility of Highways England
  • grit all highways; we only grit 'primary routes' shown on the map
  • keep roads free of ice and snow all of the time
  • grit on land that doesn't belong to us, such as on Explore library property; contact libraries directly to report slippery conditions
  • grit car parks, cycle tracks or footpaths outside the city centre

What you can do

West Yorkshire Plus Alliance

The West Yorkshire Plus Alliance (WYPA) region is made up of different council highway authorities in the West Yorkshire area. The WYPA delivers a joint strategy regarding the gritting of roads in anticipation of frost, ice and snow.

They grit over 4,980km of roads (approximately 66% of the entire road network); motorways and the A1, however, are maintained and treated by Highways England.

Although resources aren't available to treat all roads, certain criteria define which routes are gritted. Known as our priority pre-salting network, and in line with national guidelines, routes are treated in order of importance, as follows:

  1. strategic regional routes
  2. major bus routes
  3. steep main distributor roads into housing estates
  4. links to schools
  5. links to hospitals
  6. links to industrial estates

Being a part of the WYPA region ensures a consistent approach across different authorities and helps us achieve a responsible balance between cost and level of service.

Download the WYPA leaflet about winter services.

Also see

Comment on this page
Back to the top of the page