Skip to main content


How gritting works

Gritting is the spreading of rock salt on roads to prevent them from freezing during cold weather. The rock salt lowers the freezing point of moisture on the road surface. This helps to stop ice forming and causes existing snow or ice to melt.

Our responsibility

We are responsible for the maintenance of public highways in Peterborough. This includes providing a winter maintenance service.

National Highways maintains trunk roads such as the A47 (east of Wansford and including Soke Parkway), the A1 and the A1M.

We store 3,500 tonnes of salt at our contractor's depot at the beginning of the winter season. We replenish the stock as the season progresses. 

Please note we do not supply salt to private individuals. You can buy rock salt for private use from local builders merchants and other suppliers.

When we grit

We check the weather every day between 1 October and 30 April to determine whether we need to grit.

DTN, a specialist winter weather forecast service, advises of the possibility of freezing road surface temperatures or snow. They give an approximate time of when these conditions may arise. This information enables us to decide whether gritting is necessary.

Gritting usually takes place late at night or very early in the morning. We time it to ensure we treat the whole network before road surface temperatures fall below zero.

As a rule, the latest treatments of the precautionary network to ensure full coverage before rush hour is 4am. This would mean drivers would have been in the depot preparing their vehicle and loading from 3am.

Gritting updates

You can keep up to date with the latest gritting information by following us on Facebook or X.

Gritting routes

You can view our gritting routes on our map system.

How to stay safe on the roads in winter

The Met Office has some useful information on how to stay safe on the roads in winter.

Grit bins

There are currently over 100 grit bins around the greater city area. They are located predominantly in areas that are not on or near the gritting routes. We restock them at regular intervals during the winter season.

If you know of a grit bin that needs restocking, please contact our Customer Services Team to let us know. You can also request a refill of a grit bin on our online reporting system.

As grit bins can be subjects to vandalism and misuse, we only provide them if there is a genuine need. We assess requests for grit bins at new locations against various criteria and only provide them if full justification can be shown.

Gritting footpaths

We salt footways in the main shopping area and routes to city centre car parks where there are higher volumes of pedestrians. With well over a thousand kilometres of footways in Peterborough, salting every single one isn’t feasible. We must concentrate our efforts on areas that benefit the most people.

Gritting car parks

We grit all car parks that we operate. This includes gritting the footways and routes that lead up to them to provide safe access to the city centre.

Requesting additional gritting action

We have developed our schedule of treated roads over a number of years and we review it annually. It is unlikely we will add any additional roads to our schedule. However, if you feel you have an exceptional case, you should raise this with your city or parish councillor. We will consider any requests during our end of season review. We can’t add any routes to the schedule during the current winter season.

Find your local councillor on the Democracy Peterborough website.

Gritter names

In October 2023, we asked our residents to help us name our six new gritting vehicles. Our judging panel selected the following names as the winners:

  • Aston Verycold
  • Chilly Eilish
  • I Want to Break Freeze
  • Lou-ice Smith
  • Sleet Caroline
  • Thaw Patrol