Winter weather and gritting
The council has a winter service procedure in
place to deal with frost, hoar frost and snow fall which would be
expected most winters.
When there is frost on the roads or when snow
falls in the borough, we will spread salt, which is sometimes
called grit, on various roads in the borough. The roads that
we will salt are described on the ‘winter maintenance service for
showing gritted roads (pdf 1Mb).
It is not practicable to plough in the borough
because of traffic islands, parked vehicles and the needs of
The council is responsible for most roads,
except major roads such as the A13 and A12, which are the
responsibility of Transport for London.
When snow falls and it is too slippery to
sweep, our road sweepers will salt footways instead with the
following areas prioritised:
- Hospital and health centre/ surgery entrances
- School entrances
- Care homes /day centres for elderly and / or disabled
- Children's centres
- Around busy public transport areas (excl TfL areas), Idea
Stores and other areas of high footfall
The network of footways that we will salt is
described in the ‘Winter maintenance network for footways’.
See a map of footways we will salt (pdf 1Mb).
Estate roads and pavements
Estate roads and pavements are looked after by
the landlord rather than the council. Therefore, you should
take any queries about gritting of roads or pavements in these
areas to your landlord.
What you can do to help
In the past there was a risk that if anyone
tried to help by removing snow from outside their house,
neighbour’s house or business and then someone fell, then they
could be held responsible by that person. To avoid this
problem the Department for Transport has issued guidance about
what members of the public and businesses can do to help in the
event of snow. It’s largely common sense and recommends
sweeping away snow before it has become compacted. It asks
people not to pour boiling water on the pavement as this can freeze
to form ice. Read
our guidance document on clearing paths (Word 55kb)
If there is a national salt shortage
The council has secured good supplies of
salt. However, if there is a shortage across London then we
may be asked to share what we have with those who do not have
enough. We may also be asked to reduce the amount of salt we
spread and reduce the length of the roads and pavements that
we salt to what is known as the Resilience network for
carriageways and resilience areas for footways.
To report any problems with roads or pavements
contact the council’s Streetline on 020 7364 5004. To contact the
council’s social care team telephone 020 7364 5005 or email:
You can also get help and advice from our One Stop Shops