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What is winter service?

Winter service is snow and ice clearance, or the precautionary spreading of salt on highways to prevent ice from forming. As a caring council we wish to reduce the impact bad weather has on residents and users of the boroughs highways by:

  • minimising the loss of life and injury to highway users, including pedestrians, and preventing damage to vehicles and other property
  • keeping the highway free from obstruction and thereby avoid unnecessary hindrance to travel

See our gritting routes

You can see our gritting routes and salt bin locations.

Snow champion volunteers

Snow champion volunteers are people who volunteer to help clear the snow and ice for the benefit of our community.

We currently have a full complement of snow champions.

Salt bins

Salt bins are filled up prior to the winter period. Stocks will be replenished as and when required.

All of the boxes are located where steep gradients or difficult junctions are present. The locations are agreed annually prior to the commencement of winter service by cabinet. The boxes are for the use of local residents. The grit can be used on the carriageway or pavement but must not be used on private driveways or business premises.

Requests for new salt bins will be assessed against the Winter Service Operational Plan.

If you wish to make an application for a salt bin to be placed on the highway, please complete the application form below and return it to the Traffic Management and Coordination team

The application form will be assessed using the criteria detailed in the document below and you will be updated accordingly.

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What can I expect from winter service?

The full winter service operates from 1 November to 31 March the following year. A limited response to bad weather is also available in October and April.

The total length of roads in the borough is approximately 532 miles (856km) of which 218 miles (351km) are salted; this is equivalent to 41% of the roads in the borough.

Footways and minor roads are not routinely treated. Where possible however the removal of snow and ice may be undertaken if weather conditions prevent the authority from undertaking routine highway and grounds maintenance works.

How does it work?

We receive weather forecasts from the MeteoGroup UK Road Cast service, which uses data from road sensors throughout the West Midlands. The decision to spread salt on roads depends on a number of factors and not just air temperature. We follow the procedure recommended in the Code of Practice for Maintenance Management – Well-maintained Highways.

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What do you expect from me?

  • Remember rules 203-206 in the Highway Code about driving in icy and snowy weather; they help to ensure your safety and that of other road users and pedestrians
  • Please ensure that your vehicle is serviced for the winter with enough anti-freeze, tyres with the right depth of tread, and effective windscreen wipers and washers
  • In bad weather listen to local traffic and weather reports before your journey, and then consider if your journey is essential
  • In poor conditions keep your speed down, use dipped headlights, look out for vulnerable road users such as pedestrians and cyclists and leave plenty of room in front of you – up to ten times the normal distance may be required if you have to stop
  • Be aware that a road may not be treated along its whole length and that treatment does not guarantee that the road is free of ice and snow