Salting, gritting and clearing snow

Check the latest from Suffolk Highways on Twitter on which roads are gritted and kept free from snow and ice in Suffolk during severe weather.

Follow @suff_highways on Twitter for regular updates during winter

You don't need an account with Twitter to see our updates.

Suffolk Highways is responsible for the delivery of these services in Suffolk except for trunk roads, which are the responsibility of Highways England. The winter season last from 1 October 2017 to 30 April 2018.

Visit Roadworks.org to view our precautionary salting routes by following the steps below:

Roadworks.org instructions graphic

 

  1. Enter your postcode in the "Search locations" box (top right hand side)
  2. Click on "Map Layers" (top left hand side)
  3. Go to "Driver Information" and select Winter Gritting Routes
  4. Click on the downward arrow to display the key to the colours used on the winter gritting routes

For further guidance read our full instructions on how to use the Roadworks.org map.

The routes we salt and grit and when

When ice or snow is forecast we treat all:

  • A and B roads
  • roads to 24 hour fire stations, accident and emergency hospitals, main bus and railway stations

These roads are prioritised into 2 categories: Primary (P1) and Secondary (P2) which cover approximately 51% of all roads maintained by Suffolk County Council.

They are shown as Primary (P1) and Secondary (P2) routes on Roadworks.org.  Find out more in our winter service plan (PDF, 1 MB).  

Primary routes (P1)

  • We aim to complete Primary (P1) routes before the onset of frost, ice or snow – and within 2 hours 30 minutes.
  • Timing is calculated from starting from the depot to completing of salting.
  • If ice or snow continues we will salt or grit other roads, but only when we know that traffic is moving freely and safely on our P1 routes.

Secondary routes (P2)

  • We aim to complete Secondary (P2) routes by 7.30am.
  • Secondary (P2) routes are generally run when the temperature is expected to stay below zero after 9am. (This is dependent on the needs of the Primary (P1) network.)

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.

You can also:

  • visit the Highways England website for information about travel and possible transport disruption
  • go to the Met Office website to see the latest weather report

How we keep roads free from snow and ice during winter

Request gritting and salting

Request gritting quickly and easily online using our Highways Reporting Tool - Please select problem type Snow, Ice and Gritting, Problem sub type Salt bins - refill.

Grit bins and heaps

We stock 2400 grit bins across the county at important locations, such as the bottom of hills, or on junctions on minor roads.

Find out more about grit bins and heaps.

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:

  1. main shopping streets in town centres
  2. other town pavements
  3. well used cycle tracks

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.

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