We grit local roads in winter months to try and keep the highways as clear of snow and ice as possible.
We cannot treat all roads or keep treated roads completely clear at all times - follow us on social media to keep updated.
Areas we grit
Our gritting routes cover more than 180 miles of adopted highway, including:
- major A and B roads
- designated access routes into most villages
- main routes to GP surgeries, hospitals and schools
These are Rutland’s ‘priority routes’, agreed by Cabinet.
If we have resources available during periods of extreme weather, we will look into requests from the police and public - but our priority routes will always take priority over any requests.
Our target for treating the network is four hours.
Cabinet reviews our priority gritting routes each year, based on the resources we have available and areas of greatest need. You can ask for your road to be considered in the next review - email email@example.com.
Grit is actually rock salt. We spread it on the road at rates from:
- 8 grams per square metre when frost is forecast
- up to 40 grams per square metre during snow or prolonged icy conditions
Rock salt is most effective when it becomes a solution - this is why the gritting process relies on cars and other vehicles crushing the salt into the road to be effective. This forms a de-icing solution which stops water freezing until the temperature reaches -6ºC to -8ºC.
When we grit
We use a winter forecasting service that:
- predicts the possibility of freezing road temperatures, snow and ice
- tells us when these conditions are likely to occur
We make daily decisions based on this forecast.
Gritting is only effective in certain conditions - we won't necessarily grit when the temperature falls below freezing. This could be because of dry road surface conditions (moisture's needed to turn the salt into a solution), or because residual salt levels on the road are enough to deal with the conditions.
Who grits and clears our highways
Our contractor grits and clear the highways using their own vehicles.
During extreme weather, our street cleaning and grounds maintenance staff also clear snow from footways. Farmers are contracted to clear snow from carriageways, too.
Snow ploughing usually starts when 50mm of snow has fallen and snow continues to fall.
We aim is to clear all priority routes of snow as soon as conditions allow - then clearance work will continue as necessary.
Footpaths and cycleways
We don't normally treat footways as a precaution - but if snow's forecast, we'll grit the main footways in Oakham and Uppingham town centre areas.
If resources are available, we'll treat other footways on a priority basis – for example, areas with high numbers of vulnerable residents.
Cycleways are not treated.
There are around 240 grit bins provided to town and parish councils - these are restocked with salt at their request.
You can spread salt on the highway from these bins yourself, when necessary. The salt is not for use on private driveways.
We store grit (rock salt) at our Ashwell depot, which has a capacity of about 5,000 tonnes.
A minimum of 4,000 tonnes of salt is held in stock at the start of winter.