Pages in Gritting

  1. Gritting
  2. Gritting routes
  3. About rock salt
  1. Self help grit bins
  2. Winter maintenance policy

Self help grit bins

There are over 250 yellow or black bins filled with salt (grit) for use in the community on public roads and pavements subsidising our gritting routes. Locations can be found on the interactive map of gritting routes and grit bins.

The salt in the community bins is for use only within the community on public paths, pavements and roads only - not for private use on driveways or garden paths.

Who can use the salt?

Anyone can use the salt to put on the roads or pavements. This can be particularly useful to 'join up' salting from the main to smaller access roads or on the pavements to the local school.

How much salt to use?

Half a tablespoon of salt (10 grams) is sufficient to treat one square metre of road/pavement surface. Please use the salt carefully - overuse will result in it being used up too quickly and can lead to large piles of undiluted salt that people can slip or trip on.

Spreading the grit

Safety is the most important factor:

  • Only spread the grit when there are no vehicles or pedestrians about;
  • Wear bright clothing to ensure that you can be seen clearly;
  • Don't assume that the road or footway is safe just because you have spread the grit.
  • Look after the environment - use the minimum grit necessary. A shovel full of grit will be sufficient for 20-30 square metres. For maximum effect the grit should be spread in tyre tracks or on the main footway used.

How do the bins get refilled?

The bins are all inspected and filled at the beginning of the winter period. They are restocked with grit when needed depending upon their usage and the severity of the weather. We refill the salt bins as soon as reasonably possible and in bad weather we will endeavour to fill up empty bins on route.

At times of prolonged severe weather, the priority of the winter maintenance teams will be to salt the main roads and we may not be able to refill the salt bins as quickly as at other times.

Who decides where the bins go?

Highways will consider requests for additional grit bins based on consideration of the following criteria:

  • The highway gradient (steepness of road and footways)
  • Sharp bends
  • Proximity to main junctions with main roads
  • Other factors e.g. elderly persons' accommodation

Read our assessment form.

Can a grit bin be removed?

Often grit bins become the focus of vandalism. If this becomes an particular nuisance, a request for the bin to be removed can be made.

Consultation with other local residents in the area and local ward councillors would be needed before the facility is withdrawn on nuisance grounds.

Damaged grit bins

If a grit bin is damaged, the location will be assessed against criteria before the bin is replaced. If the site does not meet the criteria, subject to consultation as outlined above, then the grit bin may not be replaced.

Clearing snow and ice from pavements

For advice on clearing snow and ice from pavements, see the snow code on the Met Office website.

Reporting empty salt bins

To report an empty salt bin, please contact Customer Service. Please tell us the exact location of the bin (street name, area and outside which house number) when reporting and ideally quote the unique reference of the salt bin as shown on the interactive map of gritting routes and grit bins.

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