Find out more about gritting

How gritting works

To treat main roads and footpaths during winter, we use grit (also known as rock salt). Gritting works by lowering the freezing point of moisture on the road surface.

Although we can use grit on dry roads, it does not begin to melt ice or snow until it dissolves into brine. This can only happen after it's crushed by the traffic.

Grit is less effective at temperatures below -5°c and has little or no effect below -10°c.

Grit stocks

Before the winter season we stockpile 5,000 tonnes of rock salt. Most of this takes place at our operational depot at Hellaby. We check grit usage throughout the season. Stocks get replaced when they get to a pre-determined level.


As part of our winter gritting programme, 545 km of our busiest roads get treated with grit. This is 48% of Rotherham’s entire highway network.

Winter service vehicles

We have a fleet of 10 winter service vehicles, which get serviced before the start of the winter season. They are on standby throughout the winter season.

Winter fleet drivers

We have over 40 qualified winter service drivers who are part of our winter service programme. They are available 24hrs a day 7 days a week, from mid-November to late-March.

See our winter service manual

You can see what we do throughout the gritting process, details of the routes and more in our winter service manual.

Download our winter service manual