See when roads are gritted and view our gritting routes.

Between 1 October and 30 April we keep North Yorkshire's roads moving during periods of extreme weather.

Motorways and trunk roads such as the A1, A1(M), A66, A66(M), A64, A168 (Dishforth to Thirsk) and A19 (Thirsk to Crathorne) are the responsibility of Highways England.

When we will grit the roads

Our gritting crews are on call 24 hours a day between October and April. They will treat North Yorkshire roads whenever needed. Remember gritting does not guarantee an ice free surface. Traffic needs to drive over a gritted road in order to grind the salt and activate it. Salt alone does not melt snow and ice. We monitor conditions throughout the day and night and adjust our gritting plans an needed.

View gritting routes

You can type your location into the map, or tap the search icon, to see the roads we grit in your area.

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We grit our roads in the order below, as resources allow, based on traffic flows and the best use of our gritters.

Priority Type of road Gritted by
purple.png 1 Connects or passes through towns 7am
green.png 2 Access to local communities 10am
Unmarked Housing estates and country lanes Only gritted if conditions last over 72 hours and resources allow

Most scheduled buses and three quarters of school buses run on gritted routes. We cannot grit all our roads due to the time and cost involved.

We update Twitter when we plan to grit, subject to resources. You can follow us @northyorkscc.

Live weather cameras

We have weather stations across the county which record photos, monitor humidity, road temperature, air temperature and wind speed.

View our roadside cameras

When we will grit footpaths and footways

Busy shopping areas and main pedestrian footways will be treated before 9am in severe weather. We will not treat footways following normal overnight frosty conditions.

After snowfall and icy conditions, busy shopping streets and main pedestrian footways will be cleared first. Remaining footways and cycleways will be treated in priority order as resources allow.



Cross Hills








Great Ayton









Pateley Bridge










Sherburn in Elmet


Further information

We use the latest weather forecasting technology, which includes ice prediction weather stations, a 24-hour weather forecast and road temperature sensor data.

It is unlikely that any additional roads will be added to our current routes.

If you have an exceptional case for amending a route, you can contact us.

Any submission would benefit from having the support of your parish or town council and local county councillor.

  • We have an annual gritting budget of £6 million and one of England's largest road networks to look after, second only to the Highways England.
  • We have 86 gritters, 107 farming contractors and several snowblowers.
  • We have 55,000 tonnes of salt stored in our barns and there are 8,000 salt heaps and bins around the county.
  • Our gritting network covers 4,400km or 54% of the county's roads and in a typical year our gritters make 6,687 runs.
  • Our gritter crews are on call 24 hours a day and typically start gritting at 5am.

Gritting infographic

2020-21 winter services infographic

You said you gritted the road, but it's still slippery?

Gritting does not always guarantee an ice-free road surface and salt is less effective the colder it gets.

Rain and surface water run-off can also reduce the effectiveness of our gritting by washing the salt away.

Traffic needs to drive over a gritted road in order to grind the salt and activate it. Salt alone does not melt snow and ice.

There's a layer of snow on the road. Why didn't you grit?

When we grit a road, further snow fall can lay on top of the road surface. This covers the salt and makes it look like we haven't gritted.

Traffic needs to drive over a gritted road in order to grind the salt and activate it. Salt alone does not melt snow and ice.

It's below freezing. Why didn't you grit?

Sometimes, even if the air temperature is below freezing, roads can keep a small amount of heat, meaning that ice won't form on them.

Sometimes there isn't enough moisture in the air to form ice, even if it's below freezing. 

Weather forecasts report air temperature; we use a combination of air and road surface temperature to decide when and where we grit.

It's above freezing. Why did you grit?

If air temperature rises, it can take a little time for road surface temperatures to rise too. Road surface temperatures can remain a few degrees below air temperature, and as a result, moisture on the road can freeze. So we may still grit even if air temperature is above freezing.

I was driving behind a gritter and it wasn't spreading any salt

The county council's road network is one of the largest in the country, after Highways England.

Gritters don't always spread salt the moment they leave the depot; they may be travelling to another location to spread salt.

It may also be the case that the gritter has used up its salt, and is returning to the depot to refill. In both of these cases, the gritter will appear to be travelling without spreading any salt.

I travel to work early in the morning, and the priority road I use wasn't gritted

The county council's road network is one of the largest in the country, after Highways England.

It can take time for our gritters to reach their destination and begin gritting. Our gritters usually begin their work from 5am.

Priority one roads are usually completed between 5am and 7am, which means it takes around two hours for our gritters to travel these routes.

Priority two roads are usually completed between 7.30am and 10am, once priority one roads are complete, which means it takes around two and a half hours for our gritters to travel these routes.

Advice on driving safely in winter is available on our safe winter driving page.

Our winter maintenance policy covers the priority system we use to treat roads in North Yorkshire, the timing and amounts of salt treatment, our snow clearance priority, the provision of salt bins and heaps and our extreme weather protocol.

 View the winter maintenance policy here (pdf / 111 KB).

Find out about our winter gritting in video

Find out about our winter gritting service in North Yorkshire.

Find out how we prepare for winter in North Yorkshire.

Find out how we decide whether to salt or not to salt.

Find out what it's like out on the road with our gritting teams.

Find out how our gritting teams keep you safe on our roads during winter.

Find out how we keep you informed about our gritting plans. View our routes online, see our live weather cameras to plan your journey and see our gritting plans on twitter.