We carry out road salting (gritting) to keep road users safe in conditions of snow and ice and frost.
Follow the gritting team on Twitter for regular updates throughout the gritting season (November to April).
Salt bins and gritting routes
Salt bins are located at key points to encourage 'self-help' for treating the highway (not footpaths), these are shown on the map above in red - you can find out more information about individual bins by clicking on the red icons. The gritting routes are highlighted in blue.
Road gritting times
Salting 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
Normally, precautionary salting is carried out in the evening or early morning - during severe weather conditions we may spread salt at other times.
If frost follows rain in the early hours, or freezing occurs unexpectedly, there may not be enough time to salt the entire 'priority network' before the morning rush hour. Motorists, therefore, should drive with caution and not assume that salting has been carried out.
What we can do
- carry out precautionary salting on the pre-salting network when there is a risk of frost, ice or snow
- clear the routes of snow accumulation in priority order
- keep you informed (through the media) as far as possible
What we can't do
- we cannot treat Motorway or Trunk Roads, as these are the responsibility of Highways England
- we cannot salt all highways
- we cannot keep roads free of ice and snow all of the time
What you can do
- prepare your vehicle for winter
- check the weather forecast and road conditions before travelling
- allow extra time for your journey
- give gritters and snow ploughs plenty of room to operate
- carry a shovel and blanket in your vehicle
- follow the Highway Code for driving in adverse weather conditions
The Yorkshire Alliance (YA) region is made up of 'highway authorities' (councils) in our area and grits (salts) roads 'in anticipation of' frost, ice and snow. Download the YA leaflet about winter services.
They grit (salt) over 4980.3 km of roads - approximately 66% of the entire road network with motorways and the A1 being maintained and treated by Highways England.
Although resources aren't available to treat all roads, certain criteria defines which routes are gritted. Known as our priority 'pre-salting network' and in line with national guidelines, routes are treated in order of importance:
- strategic regional routes
- major bus routes
- steep main distributor roads into housing estates
- links to schools
- links to hospitals
- links to industrial estates
Being a part of the West Yorkshire Plus Alliance region ensures a consistent approach across the region and helps us to achieve a responsible balance between cost and level of service.
For York, salting takes up to two hours and is normally completed by the start of the working day, but delays can occur due to traffic conditions.
If rain is forecast salting has to be delayed to stop the salt being washed away.
We aim to allow vehicles to move safely on the roads, however snow and ice clearance work is limited by the resources available.
If it snows, further salting and ploughing is carried out where needed.
Priority is given to the inner and outer ring roads and the roads connecting them. The secondary gritting routes are also treated when resources are available.