Snow and winter gritting

The council highways team produces an annual winter maintenance plan to manage frost, ice and snow on the borough's roads. The plan outlines in the event of heavy snowfall:

  • carriageway routes that are salted
  • pedestrianised areas hand salted
  • locations of salt bins etc.

Any issues encountered during the winter season are discussed among the engineers within our team and changes are incorporated into the maintenance plan for the next year.


Gritting of the roads in Slough is done on a priority basis with major roads split into 2 categories: primary and secondary routes.

Primary routes include A roads, main roads which link Slough to other towns and approaches to emergency services base stations and hospitals. The total length of the primary roads in Slough is 135 km (84 miles).

Secondary routes includes the main routes to schools, some bus routes and some main residential roads. The total length of the secondary roads in Slough is 30 km (19 miles).

Slough High Street shopping area and other designated shopping areas in the borough are cleared of snow and gritted after significant snow fall.

Small residential roads and footpaths are not routinely gritted.

Facts on gritting in Slough

  • After snowfall the council uses 20 tonnes of salt and grit to clear the council’s roads, the area treated is almost the same as around 160 football pitches.
  • The total length of our primary and secondary gritting routes are 165 km (102 miles).
  • Salt doesn’t work very well if the overnight temperature falls to below -6 degrees.
  • We have 2 gritting and ploughing vehicles.
  • The salt for gritting is not white table salt, it is sandy coloured and is almost invisible when it is spread on the roads.
  • Along with other authorities in the country the council does not grit all roads and footways. We have frost and snow clearance plan which makes sure we keep the most important roads clear, which helps with moving traffic through and around the borough and helps bus routes and access to and from emergency services and hospitals.
  • We always try to grit the roads before the snow falls because salt and grit aren't as effective on the roads if the snow has already fallen.
  • The salt and grit on the roads needs traffic to run it in before it works effectively.