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Gritting routes

We try to keep the major routes on the highway network working safely and effectively as weather conditions and financial resources allow. This includes a limited amount of snow and ice clearance to other key areas of the network, such as important footways.


This map shows our gritting routes. These are split into two categories:

  • precautionary routes (red routes) which are roads that are treated when there is a risk of frost, ice or snow.
  • resilience routes (blue routes) which are roads that are treated first during more extreme winter weather and used for snow ploughing.

What we do about gritting

During snowy and icy weather we:

  • monitor specialist weather forecasting and ice prediction systems 24 hours a day
  • remotely monitor road conditions from strategically located weather stations as well as driving the network if necessary to determine the appropriate actions
  • prepare spreading routes with neighbouring local authorities
  • maintain a spreader fleet on standby 24 hours a day, stock 2800 tonnes of 6mm dry rock salt at the commencement of the winter season and prepare 177 grit bins in strategic locations
  • spread salt and/or grit on a predetermined precautionary treatment network (approximately 45% of the network) when weather conditions dictate
  • have identified a smaller minimum winter (resilience) network (approximately 21% of the network), which will be treated first during more extreme winter weather and used for snow ploughing
  • provide manual gritting of pavements at strategic locations, such as travel interchanges subject to the availability of resources
  • inform emergency services of our actions during more severe conditions
  • encourage self-help and neighbourly cooperation in dealing with local problems.

Watch our video about how we keep our roads safe during the colder months.

What we cannot do about gritting

Unfortunately, we cannot:

  • treat all the roads in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole, as this is beyond our resources or that of any local authority
  • treat footways all over Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole - in extended periods of snow and ice, only major pedestrian routes (e.g. town centres and travel interchanges, etc.) will be treated on a priority basis as resources allow
  • ensure that any road or footway is free of snow or ice - whether treated or not. Many factors affect the effectiveness of salt (e.g. traffic, temperature) and the ability to spread it (e.g. traffic congestion, rainfall, etc.)
  • provide salt or grit, even though public assistance and cooperation is welcomed.