Ian Shires

Liberal Democrat Councillor for Willenhall North Ward, Liberal Democrat Group Leader, Walsall MBC Learn more

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Gritting (winter service)

by Ian Shires on 20 November, 2012

Published by Walsall Council

Gritter lorry

Updates and latest news

The Winter Service Operation plan commenced on 1 November 2012,

Updates can also be found on Walsall Council’s Twitter

or Walsall Council’s Facebook

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 borough’s highways by achieiving the following aims:

  • Minimise the loss of life and injury to highway users, including pedestrians, and preventing damage to vehicles and other property.
  • Keep the highway free from obstruction and thereby avoid unnecessary hinderance to travel.

Grit boxes

Grit boxes are filled up prior to the winter period. They are continualy filled as/when needed.

All the boxes are located where we have steep gradients or difficult junctions within the borough. The locations are agreed annually by cabinet as are the gritting routes. The boxes are for the sole use of local residents in that particular street. The grit can be used on the highway or pavement (not on drives).

Grit box map

Grit box map (click on image for full size)

What can I expect from winter service?

The full winter service operates from the 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, but snow and ice removal is undertaken if possible where normal council duties are prevented, such as road repairs or grounds maintenance.

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, not just air temperature. We follow the procedure recommended in the Code of Practice for Maintenance Management – Well-maintained Highways.


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

Contact us

Roadworks Management
Engineering and Transportation
2nd floor, Civic Centre
Darwall Street

Telephone  01922 654661
Emai roadworksmanagement@walsall.gov.uk

This page was last updated on 08 November 2012

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