Gritting and grit bins

Highways ( Last updated - November 2014

Where we grit

Priority routes

  • We grit 55% of the road network in Kirklees in response to severe weather warnings.
  • These priority routes are main roads, main bus routes and steep roads that provide important links to main roads.
  • This represents over 700 miles of road that can be treated within two hours of starting to grit.

Other routes

  • During long periods of severe weather such as heavy snow and freezing conditions, we grit and clear snow from the remaining road network.
  • All other routes are treated once the priority routes are clear, depending on the severity of the weather. It can take a few days to do this because of the size of the network and because treatment is carried out on a planned priority basis.

What we use

We use rock salt which is known as grit but is in fact about 99% salt. A typical gritting uses about 93 tonnes of grit.

How we decide when to grit

  • We get up to date weather forecasts direct from the Met Office.
  • We have weather stations and sensors around Kirklees.
  • We have night patrols to monitor the situation on the roads.
  • We have trained and experienced senior managers who decide whether or not we grit.

What else we do

  • We have text message activated snow warning signs to warn drivers of difficult situations ahead.
  • We work closely with the Police, bus companies, emergency planning services and other local authorities to get a clearer picture of how the weather is affecting people. Whenever possible, we try to make sure that town and village centres, doctors' surgeries, health centres, hospitals, bus stations, schools and the homes of vulnerable residents are treated and made as safe as possible.
  • We have night patrols to monitor the situation on the roads.
  • We often carry out 'pre-gritting' before the arrival of severe weather to help prevent ice forming on roads and improve safety.


  • We must concentrate our winter maintenance on the main routes in Kirklees and on making sure that key locations such as schools and hospitals are as safe as possible. When we carry out a full grit (all priority routes, secondary routes and key locations), we use all our resources so we are unable to accept requests at the same time.
  • Once a full grit has been completed, we may be able to grit other areas as requested by residents.

Grit bins

  • We maintain over 1,450 grit bins in Kirklees, located at sites not on a priority gritting route.
  • We cannot provide any more grit bins, but they can be moved from one location to another within a ward if approved by your local ward councillor.
  • We fill grit bins three to four times a year. Grit bins have stickers that detail when the bin was last filled.
  • The grit stored in grit bins is for use on public roads, pavements and other public areas only – not private driveways for example.
  • We also provide grit for local use to support vulnerable people and for those who meet certain criteria such as farmers, voluntary groups, support workers and self-help groups

How you can help us

Park sensibly. Our gritters are large vehicles and they cannot get through tight spaces or around abandoned cars.

Watch our videos

These clips help to answer some of the most common questions about gritting in Kirklees.