Gritting Your Roads
Gritting of Bedford Borough’s roads
Bedford Borough Council is responsible for salting roads when
temperatures drop below zero to make sure all main routes on the
network are safe and clear of snow and ice. We will also clear any
snowfall and help keep local roads safe and clear for drivers.
When do we salt?
Salting is carried out when road temperatures are expected to
drop below zero and when the roads are expected to be damp. Ice
will not form on a dry road surface in a dry atmosphere. We try to
carry out salting either after the evening or before the morning
peak traffic periods. However, during adverse weather conditions,
we may have to salt at other times, even 24 hours around the clock
if we have snow.
How do we know when to salt?
We use a computer system that collects weather and road
information at different sites across the Borough. It also tells us
if any salt is left on the road from previous salting. This enables
us to use salt as wisely as possible.
The Met Office use this information along with their other
weather data to predict weather conditions and road surface
temperatures across the Borough (see forecast text above).
It is on this information that we base our decision on whether
to salt or not and at what time of the day or night.
What roads do we salt?
A salting network of roads has been created so that roads
carrying the highest amount of traffic and with the highest risk of
accidents are treated. This means that just under half of the road
network is salted. All A and B roads are salted along with other
important local roads. We also try to ensure that the majority of
road users live within a reasonable distance of a salted route.
here for a list of the roads that we currently salt in Bedford
Map to show
PRIMARY salting routes
Map to show
SECONDARY salting routes
Map to show
FOOTPATHS salting route around Urban Bedford
In prolonged snow and ice, additional roads may be treated, but
only when the normal salting network shown on the map is relatively
clear of ice and snow.
here for a list of additional roads that we will plough when we
have heavy and prolonged snow fall.
Clearing snow and ice from pavements yourself
The Department for Transport (Dft) have produced a 'snow code'
that gives information on clearing snow and ice from the paths
outside your home.
The Council’s Winter Maintenance Policy incorporates the latest
government advice which dispels the urban myth that you may be
liable if someone else slips or falls on an area you have treated.
Pedestrians and drivers have a responsibility to be careful
themselves and there have been no cases in the UK of people being
sued for clearing snow.
Tips for clearing snow and ice:
- Clear the snow or ice early in the
It’s easier to move fresh, loose snow rather
than hard snow that has packed together from people walking on it.
So if possible, start removing the snow and ice in the morning. If
you remove the top layer of snow in the morning, any sunshine
during the day will help melt any ice beneath. You can then cover
the path with salt before nightfall to stop it refreezing
- Use salt or sand – not water
If you use
water to melt the snow, it may refreeze and turn to black ice.
Black ice increases the risk of injuries as it is invisible and
very slippery. You can prevent black ice by spreading some salt on
the area you have cleared. You can use ordinary table or dishwasher
salt – a tablespoon for each square metre you clear should work. Do
not use the salt found in salting bins – this will be needed to
keep the roads clear.
Be careful not to spread salt on plants or grass as it may cause
If you don’t have enough salt, you can also use sand or ash. These
won’t stop the path icing over as well as salt, but will provide
good grip under foot.
- Take care where you move the snow
you’re shovelling snow, take care where you put it so it doesn’t
block people’s paths or drains. Make sure you make a path down the
middle of the area to be cleared first, so you have a clear surface
to walk on. Then shovel the snow from the centre of the path to the
- Offer to clear your neighbours’ paths
your neighbour will have difficulty getting in and out of their
home, offer to clear snow and ice around their property as well.
Check that any elderly or disabled neighbours are alright in the
cold weather. If you’re worried about them, contact Bedford Borough
snow from a road, path or cycleway
How do I get more information?
If you have any questions, please telephone the Highway Helpdesk
on 01234 718003.
For information on the Winter Maintenance Policy and plan,
please view the link below:
Borough Council Winter Maintenance Policy and Operational
Bedford Borough Council does not look after trunk roads.
Carillion WSP look after the A1 and A421. They can be
contacted on 01767 684616.
Advice for drivers
here for our salting map and advice for drivers