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Highways information [v]

Information on your highways.

Key facts and figures

  • Last winter (2020/21) was prolonged with the county experiencing flooding in December and snow in April.
  • We undertook 99 key route runs last season and 14 secondary runs which is higher than over previous averages of 69 key route runs and 8 secondary runs.
  • There are four salt domes across the county holding just over 11,000 tonnes of salt at the start of the winter season.
  • Visit our Winter page for more information including the link to the map of the treated network.
  • Communication is vital during the winter season and we have great following on Gritter Twitter, as well as being proactive with local radio and television. Follow us on: @GlosRoads#grittertwitter  for daily updates during the winter season.

Strategy / salting network

When icy road conditions are forecast, in accordance with the Council’s Highways Adverse Weather Plan, precautionary salting will be carried out on the strategic network (28% of Gloucestershire’s total road network) using 29 gritters.

When substantial snow or prolonged icy conditions prevail, and in the judgement of the local Area Highways Manager that the strategic routes require no further attention, resources may be re-prioritised to give attention to treating secondary routes (an additional 21% of the network).

Strategic network includes:

Secondary routes include:

A and B roads.

A single access road to major villages.


Strategic public transport routes, approaches to strategic interchanges.

In term times, routes adjacent to major educational establishments.

Roads leading to important industrial establishments, hospitals, ambulance & fire stations.

Other locations where high traffic volume, speed, or conditions dictate.

Roads serving main shopping centres.



Salt stocks and domes

In response to the nature of the severe winter weather over the past 10 years, and  the  concerns over salt supplies as experienced back in the 2008/09 winter that resulted in salt distribution being controlled by central government and guidance issued to reduce salt usage, we have increased the amount of salt the County stockpiles. We have four salt domes across the county to improve our capacity and also ensure salt is stored in a safe and environmentally friendly manner. We have domes at our depots in Moretonin-Marsh, Cannop, Stroudwater and Cirencester.

The domes hold just over 11,000 tonnes and this tonnage would allow the County to operate an ‘average’ winter service without the need to restock salt in year and similarly improves resilience, by reducing the level of restocking needed if severe conditions are experienced. 

Snow plough operators

We have a large number of Parish Snow Plough Operators assisting us in clearing the side roads during times of snow. This work is much appreciated by us and the local communities since our priority has to be to keep the main roads moving and our Parish Snow Plough Operators are vital in reaching the rural communities.  We visit and inspect Operators to build on the relationships we have established over the previous winters and to check equipment and procedures.  We are always looking for additional local resilience and would be happy to hear from anyone who would be able to assist during snow conditions.

Closer working with partners

We annually review our treated network to ensure a consistent approach across the county as well as putting in place the formal agreements with neighbouring authorities. We have been working closely with District and Borough Councils as well as our Town and Parish Councils to ensure everyone is clear about the services that can be provided during prolonged periods of cold temperatures or snow.  This has led to the development of a number of winter action plans with parishes and local communities. Bagged salt has been provided and we have part funded salt hand spreaders with the Parishes for them to treat footway and problem areas within their communities.  We will continue to work with the communities over this summer, to deliver bagged salt and additional hand spreaders, to ensure everyone is as prepared as can be for next season.

Salt bins

We do not supply or install salt bins for private use, although existing bins (some 10,000 across the county) are filled at the beginning of each winter season. New bins are provided by the relevant town or parish council who will need to agree the location with us.  The salt from the grit bins should be used on the highway only and not private land or driveways.  

We annually write to all Parish and Town Councils offering bagged salt stock within their Parish so they can help control and monitor salt bin usage. This will help greatly in stopping many bins being misused or stolen, and provides the opportunity for the parish to prioritise local salt usage and distribution within their parish.

The involvement of the Parishes and local communities is critical to keeping the local network running in severe weather and to replenishing bins, as the County’s priority and resources have to remain focused on keeping the main roads ‘open’, however during any lull in severe winter conditions we will do our best to refill bins.                                     

Page updated: 18/10/2021 Page updated by: GCC

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