Find out about road gritting

Our gritting crews treat all major routes in the Borough when surface temperatures are likely to drop below freezing. They don’t just go out when it snows. It’s not always easy to predict when roads will freeze, so we receive specialised weather reports and constantly monitor the actual road surface temperature via remote weather sensing stations at two locations in the Borough.
 
 

Did you know....Gritter image

  • Freezing temperatures often develop overnight and into the early morning when most people are asleep. We have meteorologically-trained staff keeping a constant eye on the road conditions, ready to call-out gritting crews to head out onto the Borough’s main routes at whatever time is necessary.
  • It costs around £8,600 for all vehicles and drivers to carry out a night’s operation so it’s also important that we don’t use the 1600 tonnes of salt we have at the beginning of winter unless we definitely have to. It takes 30 tonnes of salt to treat all the main routes in Swindon in freezing weather, and double that when it snows.
  • Our road salt is a specialist product that is effective at preventing freezing down to -8C for up to three days, depending on conditions, and it’s less corrosive to vehicles than the salt that was used commonly by all councils in the past.
  • We concentrate on treating the routes that are most heavily used, which in Swindon is around 250 miles of highway. 

Swindon has over 500 miles of roads in total, which means that around half aren’t treated at all and require extra care when the weather is bad. While we do our best, we cannot guarantee the routes we do treat will always be free of ice so if you see a problem, please let us know via the Report a Problem with Road Gritting webpage.

The treating of the main trunk routes in Swindon, such as the A419 and M4, is the responsibility of Highways England.

 
Last updated: 20 December 2016. Was this information helpful?

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