Plymouth geared up to keep roads moving this winter


Gritters will be out on Plymouth’s primary and secondary routes this evening, with road surface temperatures forecast to fall below freezing.

Crews from the Council and SWH Group are geared up to keep the city’s roads moving in winter, monitoring the weather closely via a dedicated forecast station and two sensor stations, to ensure roads are pre-treated with salt before temperatures drop and help prevent icy patches from forming.

Two dedicated gritters are on 24-hour standby during the winter season (which runs from the beginning of October to the end of March) to keep the city’s main routes clear.

They’re complemented by a fleet of multi-function trucks that can be quickly fitted with a gritter, tipper or ‘hotbox’ attachment, so they can be used for reactive works as well as planned maintenance and are able to respond to winter emergencies within two hours.

All the vehicles are fitted with a tracking device that monitors the tonnage of salt used on different parts of the network during each trip.

The city’s salt barn at Prince Rock Depot is stocked with around 1,000 tonnes of salt and the 400 community salt bins around the city have been topped up for people to use locally on public roads and footways in colder weather.

Teams are also ready to respond to other weather-related issues such as fallen trees, blocked gullies and localised flooding – as well as manage traffic flow and help keep road users safe in dark, wet and cold conditions

Councillor Sue Dann, Cabinet Member for Environment and Street Scene, said: “It has been pretty warm for the time of year but we have all seen how quickly temperatures can drop. We’re geared up and ready to keep Plymouth’s roads moving when the winter weather arrives and our gritting teams are on standby to go out as soon as temperatures are forecast to drop near or below freezing.”

See our winter gritting page for information about gritting routes and the location of community grit bins. For regular winter service updates follow @plymhighways on Twitter.

Useful info:

  • A full gritting run covers 42 per cent of the city’s road network (380 km) and takes about four hours
  •  Footpaths are not routinely gritted
  • The 400 grit bins around the city can be used by members of the public to treat public roads or footpaths – salt from these bins should not be stockpiled for use on private property
  • Residents who want to treat pavements and driveways in front of their properties should only need a tablespoon of salt for each square metre. Ordinary table salt and dishwasher salt can also be usedbefore the onset of freezing conditions. Residents are always urged to take care.
  • Residents should avoid using hot water to clear snow or ice as this freezes and causes even more hazardous conditions

You can request winter services such as grit box refilling online or by calling 01752 668000.