Road gritting

See when roads are gritted in North Yorkshire and view our gritting routes.

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 National Highways.

When we will grit the roads

Our gritting crews are on call 24 hours a day from October to the end of the winter season. 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 as needed.

Track a gritter and view gritting routes

This is a new service – to help us improve it, please complete our feedback form.​​​​​

Use of the map and the data shown is subject to our disclaimer.

Symbol What it means
Active gritter A gritter is actively gritting.
Road gritted in last ten hours Road gritted within the last 10 hours.
Primary gritting route Primary gritting routes (also called Priority 1 routes)
Secondary gritting route Secondary gritting routes (also called Priority 2 routes)


Motorways and
trunk roads

Not shown. The A1, A1(M), A66, A66(M), A64, A168 (Dishforth to Thirsk) and A19 (Thirsk to Crathorne) are the responsibility of National Highways.

Using the map

Our interactive map lets you view details of recent gritting activity and view our priority gritting routes. You can:

  • navigate the map by entering a postcode, street name or town into the search box
  • click or tap on a highlighted section of the road to view gritting information
  • use the on-screen controls to zoom in or out or to toggle the display of priority gritting routes
  • zoom in or out by pinching, or move around using two fingers, if you are a touch screen user

When you might see the gritters

You will only see information on the map when it is cold enough for our gritters to treat the roads.

If you use the map when the weather is warmer, there may be nothing to see as our gritters have not had to grit the roads.

Information on the map

  • the map will only show gritters when they are actively gritting the roads
  • if no gritters are showing, they are not actively gritting
  • gritted roads will only show if they were done within the last 10 hours - after this time, they are removed from the map
  • you will need to zoom in to the map before more detail will appear
  • you can switch on our priority one and two routes on the map to view the roads we may treat depending on the weather conditions

Map information and limitations

North Yorkshire is England's largest rural county, with a range of urban, rural and coastal areas, each with their own unique climatic zones. As a result, you may see gritters treating particular areas or specific roads, and not others.

The map relies on GPS and mobile network signals to provide the information you see. Whilst we will try to ensure information is as up to date as possible, technical limitations may prevent this.

As gritters travel, their location updates on the map. This is based on the most up-to-date location provided and shows the last ten hours of their movements. The map gives the last recorded position and route of the gritters. It does not give any indication or guarantee of the current condition of the road network.

Road conditions can deteriorate quickly in severe weather, even when they have been gritted or ploughed. Drivers are advised to always drive in accordance with the prevailing road and weather conditions and if possible, to avoid any unnecessary journeys during periods of bad weather.

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.

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

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

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

See which footpaths we grit.

Further information

How we decide when to grit

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

Requesting a change to a route

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.

Gritting facts and figures

  • we have an annual gritting budget of £7 million and one of England's largest road networks to look after, second only to the National Highways
  • we have 79 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 myths and frequently asked questions

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 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.

Safe winter driving

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

Our winter maintenance policy

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