Salting and gritting - winter road gritting
Get alerts when we go out gritting this winter
You can register for email alerts to find out when we go out gritting this winter. We'll also spread the word on social media, via our Facebook page and Twitter account.
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When and where we grit
We salt just under half of the roads in Central Bedfordshire. Roads carrying the highest volumes of traffic, with the greatest risk of accidents or providing key access are given priority. These include all A&B roads and most smaller roads, especially if they are busy commuter routes, routes to hospitals, schools, or key to the emergency services.
You can search for your road / street name to see if it is on our gritting run. If it isn't listed, we don't salt that road.
Download the list of gritting routes in Central Bedfordshire (PDF 95.6KB) or view a map of the gritting routes (PDF 1.6MB) .
Priority 0 gritting routes
Roads we will treat in the rare event that resources are not available for treating priority 1 networks. It includes A and B class carriageways and the emergency services.
Priority 1 gritting routes
Priority 1 includes:
- all A and B class roads
- most C class roads
- some UC class roads
- busy peak commuter routes
- main peak hour bus routes
- routes to fire stations
- ambulance stations
- most school bus routes
Priority 2 gritting routes
Roads we will treat when the Priority 1 network has been treated and resources are available.
Some town and parish councils provide a local gritting service with the delegated authority from us. You can contact your town / parish council to check if your area is covered.
Trunk roads and motorways
The M1, A1, A421 and A5 are maintained by Highways England. They can be contacted on 0300 123 5000 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
How does it work?
We’ve a fleet of ten new gritter lorries.
Instead of just spreading salt like the older ones, they can spray a mix of brine (salt-water) and rock salt which helps roads become clearer much faster, especially less well-travelled ones.
The new machines are also a lot greener. They have state-of-the-art diesel engines and can direct their spread much more precisely.
How do we decide when to go out?
We grit when road temperatures are predicted to drop below zero and when the roads are expected to be damp. Ice will not form on a dry road in dry air. We receive a forecast from the Met Office specifically tailored to predict road surface temperatures – this differs from other forecasts which usually predict air temperatures. We also use a computer system that collects weather and road information at different sites across Central Bedfordshire.
We monitor this data at regular intervals around the clock and respond accordingly. In severe weather we’ll probably be out gritting, clearing snow and responding to emergencies around the clock. In prolonged periods of bad weather - if our grit stocks allow - we will then start to look at gritting more minor routes and pavements. Sometimes when the roads are too dangerous, our bin crews cannot collect your rubbish and these crews are diverted to clearing snow.