Our Services - Winter service

Gritting routes

We give priority to roads carrying the most traffic and the main routes between populated areas. There are two types of gritting routes:

  • Primary routes - These are regularly gritted during the winter. They consist of the most heavily used roads in the county including all A and B roads and about 75% of the C roads. These are normally treated when the road surface temperature falls close to or below freezing or when there is a forecast of snow.
  • Secondary routes - These are gritted when snow or severe icy conditions are forecast. They usually include the main link roads into villages, hamlets and urban estates as well as main roads to local hospitals.

You can view a map of our gritting routes here.

During periods of heavy snow, we clear and treat routes in priority order, starting with A roads. When Primary and Secondary routes are clear, priority is given to:

  • Hospitals, Fire, Ambulance and Police Stations
  • Bus and railway stations and other public transport stations
  • Main shopping areas
  • Schools
  • Sites such as very steep hills which cause particular problems

We also have a team of local farmers with snow ploughs on call to assist during periods of heavy snow.

Minor rural and urban roads will be left to thaw naturally.

When will my road be gritted?

Gritting the road at the right time is crucial. We use the latest weather forecasting technology and monitor road surface temperatures to help us decide where and when to grit.

We aim to grit the roads before frost and ice are formed by freezing temperatures. This is often in the evening or early mornings, which is why people don't often see our gritters in action.

Rain or snow can wash grit away, so where possible we also try to grit after rain has passed but before the road freezes again.

Please note, not all roads are on our gritting routes.

Why is my road not gritted?

We don't have the resources to grit all roads in the county. Our set gritting routes give priority to the busiest roads.

Can you add my road to your gritting routes?

We receive many requests to grit additional roads from residents throughout the county, but we have to prioritise the main routes between populated areas and those routes carrying the most traffic.

Please be assured that all of our gritting routes have been carefully selected to provide the best possible chance of keeping traffic moving across the county during the winter months.

Why don't you grit pavements?

We don't have the resources to routinely grit footpaths or pavements. We encourage residents to help themselves by clearing snow and ice from public areas near their properties when it is safe to do so.

Why don't you grit all roads leading to schools?

We give priority to roads carrying the most traffic and the main routes between the busiest areas.

Unfortunately, it is not possible for us to grit all roads leading to all schools in the county.

You can find out which routes to schools are gritted on our gritting routes map.

How do I find out if schools are open during winter weather?

You can find out if schools are open by:

  • Listening to local radio.
  • You can subscribe to East Sussex Councils RSS Alerts.
  • View East Sussex County Council's website for individual school closures.
  • Your child's school.


Report a problem

If you think the problem is an emergency please call us on 0345 60 80 193. If it is not an emergency you can report it easily online here.

Report a problem online