Gritting, grit bins and winter plans


Our aim is to make Northamptonshire's roads safer. We want to ensure that you can travel with a minimum of delay and disruption during severe winter weather.

See advice on driving in adverse weather conditions on

Which roads are gritted and when

The roads we are responsible for gritting are split into two categories:

  • The precautionary network (P1). Salting will take place whenever there is a potential hazard with forecast temperature of +0.5 or below
  • The adverse network (P2). Pre-treated during daytime hours in advance of high confidence of forecasted snow. Also, when the forecast temperatures are not to rise above zero for 48 hours

Motorways and trunk roads are gritted by National Highways (formerly Highways England).

Occasionally, gritting arrangements do not go to plan. You should never assume that a road has been treated but should drive in accordance with the prevailing conditions. Please remember that the majority of minor roads will receive no treatment at all.

Keep up to date

See local weather warnings on the Met Office website.

Further information

We have a finite gritting resource which needs to be applied in the most effective way. It is also difficult to predict how long a winter period will last for, which makes resource allocation difficult. Gritting the busiest roads and those linking communities is a priority.

When a path or road is adopted it is considered at the time of the annual review of the gritting networks.

We will only grit the public highway. An unadopted road is a private road in the ownership of that particular land owner. They are responsible, and liable, for the maintenance of that road.

The grit is a combination of grit salt and molasses. This gives a higher resistance to being washed away by rain or blown away by the wind.

Salt dissolves into the water and lowers its freezing point so it remains liquid at temperatures below 0°C. The lower the ambient road temperature, the less effective the salt is. At about -10°C, it does not work at all.​

You can submit your request to [email protected] and it will be included in the yearly review of the network.

Requests to include a road on the route must be submitted prior to September each year. This is so that the request can be considered for the coming winter.

Consideration is given to the treatment of priority pedestrian and cycle routes. These will be in particular the routes in the main shopping and pedestrian areas.

We aim to clear roads in priority order as soon as conditions permit, and clearance work will continue as necessary. We have sufficient snow ploughs to equip every gritter that we use.

Last updated 15 May 2024