Road gritting, salt heaps and bins

See when roads are gritted, view gritting routes and details of salt heaps and bins.

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

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

Touch screen users can zoom the map by pinching, or move around using two fingers.

 

Map key

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.

Bentham

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Cross Hills
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Grassington
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Ingleton
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Settle
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Skipton
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Bedale

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Easingwold
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Great Ayton
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Northallerton
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Stokesley
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Thirsk
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Boroughbridge

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Harrogate
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Knaresborough
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Masham
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Pateley Bridge
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Ripon
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Helmsley

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Kirkbymoorside
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Malton
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Pickering
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Thornton-le-Dale
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Selby

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Sherburn in Elmet
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Tadcaster
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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 provide salt heaps and bins for use on roads and footways in severe weather, but not for use on private property. We may remove bins where salt is being used indiscriminately or on private property. Rock salt can be bought from most DIY or garden centres.

Salt heaps and bins are placed based on road gradient, severity of bends, road usage, and whether or not the road is already gritted.

They are refilled by 1 November and a second refill may be carried out mid-season or after significant snowfall.

Parish councils can acquire and maintain additional bins at their expense, at a cost of £50 for a bin and an annual £75 charge for up to two refills.

  • 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, 111 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 6,662 runs.
  • Our gritter crews are on call 24 hours a day and typically start gritting at 5am.

Gritting infographic

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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.

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