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Gritting roads, cycleways and paths

Our winter season lasts from 1 November to 15 April and throughout this time our fleet of gritters and drivers is standing by.

We post regular updates on our Facebook and Twitter accounts, including when we will grit the roads and any weather warnings. All our winter related information that people may find useful or interesting will be tagged with #grittertwitter (please note you do not need an account to view these updates).

The Snow Code provides useful advice for local residents and businesses on clearing snow and ice from pathways and driveways.

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Frequently asked questions

Our 37 vehicles grit 44 per cent of the road network. Cambridgeshire is spilt into three gritting areas: Fenland and East, Huntingdonshire and South, and Cambridge City. When and where we grit will be dependent on the forecast temperatures in each of these three areas so there may be occasions when we grit some parts of the county but not others. Each of our routes are designed to take up to 2.5 hours to complete.

We check a detailed weather forecast at 5am, 11am, 5pm and 10pm to help us decide whether to go out. At midday every day during winter, our team of decision makers receive road and air temperatures from 12 weather stations around the county. With this information, they can then decide where to send out the gritters and how much salt needs to be spread. Our gritters will usually go out after evening rush hour when the roads are quieter but they can go out throughout the night depending on the weather.

Our gritters are much more sophisticated than they were years ago. Rather than spraying salt in all directions, the computer controlled mechanics now dispense the required amount of salt directly down on to the road and can do so at a certain angle. The drivers can control the direction of salt and the width of spread to ensure the whole carriageway is covered even if the vehicle is driving down one side only. This also happens on a roundabout.

Gritters won’t start gritting the moment they leave the depot – all our drivers have specific routes and the vehicle may not have reached the starting point of its treatment route, or may be returning to the depot at the end of its route or to refill.

Each gritting vehicle has a GPS system which tracks its route, speed, whether it is spreading salt, and if so, the amount being spread. The date and time a vehicle was on a certain road and what it was doing is always recorded. Drivers will alert the Duty Manager at each depot should there be a road closure and the vehicle needs to deviate from its usual route. 

We have two quad bikes that treat over 50km of cycleways in Cambridge City and a dedicated team of around 70 volunteers who go out and salt the pavements.

Spreading salt on the roads lowers the freezing point of water, helping to stop ice from forming. However in exceptionally low temperatures (below -8C), salt may have little or no effect. Always check the advice of the emergency services before heading out - even when roads have been gritted, highway users must still travel with care as the roads may still be slippery.

No - major trunk roads M11, A14, A1, A1 (M), A11, A47 and A428 are gritted by Highways England.

We can use salt dry or wet (mixed with brine) for windy conditions. The brine solution helps it sticks to the road.

Our gritters are limited to driving at 35mph when out gritting.

We always have enough salt –which come from a mine in Cheshire - to cope with 10 days of continuous snow.

Detailed gritting routes

The following are detailed gritting routes of footways which our volunteers across Cambridgeshire help treat when temperatures drop to freezing and below. Please note that as they are volunteers, there may be occasions when these are not gritted.

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