Check @suff_highways on Twitter for regular updates during winter.
Check which roads are gritted
Suffolk Highways is responsible for the delivery of this service in Suffolk except for trunk roads, which is the responsibility of Highways England. The winter season runs each year from 1 October to 30 April.
To view Suffolk Highways gritting routes, please visit Roadworks.org.
What do we treat?
Priority 1 routes (approximately 1259 miles) 37 routes:
- All A and B roads
- Roads to 24 hour fire stations, accident and emergency hospitals, main bus and rail stations – at least to limit of the public highway
- All roads where the traffic flow exceeds 4000 v/day
- 5 day a week bus services where practicable
- Extended gradients in excess of 5% (1:20) where practicable
Priority 2 routes (843 miles) 34 routes:
- Other bus routes where the service level is 5 days a week in the school term, and a PSV licensed vehicle is used where practicable
- Network serving all main centres of population in the rural areas
- Access to other schools
When do we treat?
Priority 1 routes:
- When gritting operations take place, the objective will be to complete the treatment of the P1 routes by 1 hour before the onset of the hazardous conditions under 1 Celsius and within 2½ hours of starting the treatment
- Timing is calculated from starting from the depot to completion of salting
Priority 2 routes:
- P2 routes are to be treated this will normally be carried out in the morning with the view to completion by 7:30am and the commencement of the main commuter traffic flow
- P2 routes are run when a hazard as indicated in the forecast at 2 or more Suffolk located weather stations and the hazard is expected to span the 4am to after the 9am period
- Subject to the needs of the P1 network
Combined, these routes cover approximately 51% of all roads maintained by Suffolk County Council. Find out more in our winter service plan (PDF, 891KB).
How we keep roads free from snow and ice
We decide to spread salt on the roads by working closely with our weather forecaster, and use information from our own weather monitoring stations.
What does salting do?
Spreading salt on the roads helps to prevent or remove ice. However, it becomes less effective as temperatures reduce.
In exceptionally low temperatures, salt may have little or no effect. In these cases it may be necessary to spread grit to give more grip on the ice, rather than trying to melt it.
When snow is more than 50mm deep, it needs to be mechanically removed by ploughing or digging. There are practical limitations to what can be achieved, and priority is always given to roads carrying the most traffic or important bus routes.
Watch: How we keep roads free from snow and ice during winter
You can also:
Grit bins and community involvement
Suffolk Highways will only consider requests for new roads to be added to the gritting routes, new grit bin requests or requests to refill the grit bins from the relevant parish, town or district council.
We stock 2100 grit bins across the county at important locations, such as the bottom of hills, or on junctions on minor roads. Read more about grit bins.
Information on how local communities can get involved with snow clearance activities can be found in our Community Preparedness - Winter Gritting pack (PDF, 1.19MB).
Clearing snow or ice at home
You can clear snow and ice on the pavement outside your property or from public spaces. It's unlikely you'll be sued or held legally responsible for any injuries on the path if you have cleared it carefully - follow the snow code (PDF) when clearing snow and ice.
Dealing with snow
We have contracts with over 200 farmers and contractors across the county to help with clearing snow and ice. We also use our own equipment.
We will carry out snow ploughing throughout the night in severe snow conditions. We do this to keep the most important roads passable (this is normally confined to the busier A class roads). There could be considerable delay in clearing snow from some minor roads.
We also clear snow from heavily used pavements. Priority is given to:
- main shopping streets in town centres
- other town pavements
- well used cycle tracks