We carry out road gritting (or salting) from November through to April to keep road users safe in conditions of snow, ice and frost.
Our 10 large gritters and 5 mini tractors cover around 359 miles of roads, footways and off-road cycle paths with 2,800 tonnes of salt. Follow the gritting team on Twitter @YorkGritter for updates on when and where they'll be gritting.
Our gritting routes are shown on the map in blue.
Gritting is carried out when road surface temperatures are predicted to drop below 0°C, when frost or ice is expected to form on the road, or when snow is forecast. When we grit the road can be affected 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
- precautionary gritting is usually carried out in the evening or early morning; during severe weather conditions we may spread grit at other times
- priority is given to inner and outer ring roads and connecting roads; we will treat secondary gritting routes if resources are available
- 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
- spreading salt on the road is only the start of the de-icing process; movement of salt around the road by traffic is essential to complete the process and overnight, when traffic levels are low, roads can remain icy for some time
- spreading salt on fresh snow will not melt it more quickly; salt only effectively melts snow when it is less than 4 centimetres deep and traffic can move the salt around, so it is essential we plough fresh snow to a depth of 5 centimetres before spreading salt
- spreading salt will not always melt ice; in the concentrations we use on our roads salt does not melt ice below minus 8°C and is less effective at temperatures below minus 5°C
Our gritting service includes:
- carrying out precautionary gritting on primary routes when there is a risk of frost, ice or snow (we also grit secondary routes where resources are available)
- clearing snow from roads in order of priority
- keeping you informed (via the media) as far as possible
- gritting city centre footpaths
You can report a problem related to ice or snow on roads and pavements online, but be aware that:
- we cannot grit motorways or trunk roads; these are the responsibility of Highways England
- we cannot grit all highways; we only grit 'primary routes' shown on the map
- we cannot keep roads free of ice and snow all of the time
- we cannot grit land that doesn't belong to us, such as on Explore library property; contact libraries directly to report slippery conditions
- we cannot grit car parks, cycle tracks or footpaths outside the city centre
Salt bins are shown on the map in red. We provide salt bins at these key points to encourage 'self-help' for treating the roads. Please note, salt in these bins is not for use on footpaths.
We inspect and refill salt bins throughout the winter, however you can report a problem with a salt bin online at any time.
Planning journeys in winter weather
Find out more about:
- safer winter driving (including the Highway Code guidance for driving in adverse weather)
- travelling in snowy conditions
For more information on buses, cycling, car sharing, Park & Ride, walking and journey planning throughout the York area,visit iTravel York.