Shropshire Council

Salting and snow clearance

Is your local salt bin running low? If so, please let us know. We aim to respond to your request as soon as we reasonably can, but we are not able to give a definite response time due to the amount of requests we receive, and adverse weather conditions.

Every year, when the wintry weather arrives, together with our partners, we go out to grit the county’s roads, keeping them safe and accessible during spells of ice and snow to keep Shropshire moving in even the worst of the weather. Find out more about what we do using the information on this page. There's even a short video to help explain.

There are hundreds of miles of roads in Shropshire and thousands of journeys to be made, so it’s important that we keep as many roads open as possible at all times. Throughout the year there’s a host of people working, sometimes through the night, to help you get where you need to be, even when temperatures plummet.

gritter

Together with our contractors, we keep a weather-eye on temperatures throughout the winter – but how do we decide when to send the gritters out?

Firstly, we need reliable information.

We subscribe to weather forecasting services from The Met Office.

From October to April we get:

  • A morning summary
  • A 24-hour forecast each morning.
  • A five-day forecast each afternoon.
  • Ice prediction graphs each afternoon.
  • Regular updates.

We also subscribe to a 24-hour consultancy service from The Met Office.

All that data helps us make informed decisions, but we also have inspectors on call that can go out and see the situation on the ground. These are officers with years of experience between them who know when to react to local conditions and deploy more resources as required.

how-much-salt-do-we-have

So what do we do?

When all the indicators are in place, we’ll send the trucks out from our five depots for what we call ‘pre-salting’. This is a preventative measure to stop ice forming on the roads.

In extreme circumstances, we’re aiming to remove ice that’s already formed, and that’s called post-salting.

Where do we grit?

Keeping the roads clear is an expensive business so we have to prioritise.

which-roads-do-we-treat

This is what’s known as the ‘defined network’.

Snow ploughing

snow-clearance

We undertake ploughing in priority order, beginning with the defined network. At least one main access route to towns and large villages will be cleared as soon as practicable. We also deploy snow blowers to remove heavy snowfall during severe weather.

What vehicles do we use?

our-fleet

The gritters are owned by us and located at our five highways depots.

In addition, many contractors and farmers have snow clearing equipment. Our divisional officers deploy this supplementary equipment following heavy snowfall in rural areas.

A picture of a gritter on a snowy road.

Our contractor, Ringway, has sufficient drivers to operate all of the above routes 24 hours a day, and additional staff available to deal with other winter maintenance duties as required, e.g. clearing snow from footways.

Local salt bins

salt-bins

You can use salt from your local salt bin to treat pavements and roads around where you live – find your nearest by zooming in on your area on our gritting route map.

Twitter Gritter

We’ve also teamed up with councils across the West Midlands to provide a regional picture of who’s gritting and when. If you’re on Twitter, you can get Twitter Gritter alerts by following #wmgrit.

Further information is contained in our Winter Maintenance leaflet.