Our gritting crews are on standby around the clock from November to April, ready to treat the 321 miles of roads on our main gritting routes.
We grit primary routes in the borough first; you can check these on our map, as well as the locations of our grit bins.
Once we've gritted primary routes, in really bad weather we'll move on to secondary routes. These include main roads in housing estates and other important urban and rural routes, including those linking towns and villages, and bus routes. In extreme weather we'll carry out additional gritting.
We also grit footpaths in some areas, like the town centre, shopping precincts and outside hospitals, schools and GP surgeries. Our Winter Service Policy shows you the areas that we grit and clear the snow from.
We provide 550 grit bins across the borough which we fill once in mid-November. Used correctly, this should be enough grit to last the entire winter period, so we won't routinely refill them. One tablespoon of grit is enough to cover one square metre of road surface.
In the event of severe weather, further refills will be carried out as resources allow.
Grit bins are provided for the public to help with the movement of vehicles on the highway only. Grit should only be used on the carriageway and not on footways or private land such as driveways.
Areas we don't grit
We're not responsible for gritting areas we don't own, or for filling private grit bins. Grit bins outside bus/train stations and supermarkets, or those owned by Berneslai Homes for example are looked after by the owner.
If we’ve not adopted the road on a new estate, the housing developer will be responsible for the grit bins.
How to use grit
The grit we provide should be used to treat the pavements and roads in your area that we don’t grit. You shouldn’t use it on your own property.
When using grit you only need one tablespoon of grit to cover 1 square metre of ground. Try to spread grit before snow falls. It needs to be activated by pedestrians walking on it or traffic driving over it for it to work properly.
Planning winter journeys
Follow us on Facebook and X for updates and insight into our team's hard work this winter. You can also search for #SYgrit to stay up to date on gritting across South Yorkshire and make planning journeys easier.
If you're driving, make sure you've checked that your vehicle's ready for winter and drive with care. You can get the latest weather reports from the Met Office or sign up for Met Office email updates.
The Met Office has also produced some helpful guides about travelling during winter.
Questions we get asked
How do you know when to grit?
We rely on weather reports from our forecast provider stations at Scout Dike, Dodworth, Great Houghton, Hoyland and Victoria. We use these to predict when we'll need to grit.
How have you prepared for the cold weather?
In preparation for cold weather we have:
- 9 primary gritting routes
- an excess of 550 grit bins
- a system of resilience management, bringing all front-line service into play
What are your road priorities for treatment?
Our priority is to keep the road network flowing and our first job is to clear primary routes. We grit all our primary routes which equates to 321 miles out of a total network length of 761 miles; about 44% of the possible gritting length. Primary routes can include A and B roads and roads linking towns and villages.
We have vehicles and drivers available 24/7 during the winter period. In times of extreme weather once these are flowing we may move onto secondary routes. We don't routinely treat every street - we don't have enough resources to do this.
Once we've gritted priority roads we deal with thousands of customer requests that come into the service and offer support where we can.
What are your footway priorities for gritting?
When conditions are so bad that key locations across the borough are affected by snow and ice, we'll activate our snow plan.
It sets out priority areas for treatment, including:
- the town centre
- local shopping areas
- sheltered complexes and housing estates for older people
- outside schools, hospitals and GP surgeries
We also deploy tractors to clear public car parks. Once these routes have been cleared we move on to other locations.
The snow plan includes fixed routes that target areas with the greatest pedestrian flows. These routes are cleared through the week, or at weekends if the weather is severe.
Can I request a grit bin?
Any new requests will be assessed against a set criteria. Please send requests to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Community purchased grit bins, typically off the highway, are only refilled if grit salt is ordered and paid for from us.
Can I make a request for gritting?
We receive special requests for funerals and weddings. If we get sufficient notice we'll try to assist, if our resources permit. We do give higher priority to calls from the emergency services and public transport (bus) operators.
Any requests for gritting will only be dealt with in these exceptional circumstances. You can contact our customer services team on (01226) 773555 for more information or to make a request.
What don't you deal with routinely?
- grit private streets or unadopted roads
- provide resources for schools
- provide resources for private businesses
- provide grit salt to businesses outside our control. Worsening conditions mean that all our grit stock is needed for treating our priority roads
What have we named our gritters?
Last year, we launched a competition for young people across Barnsley to get involved in naming our 12 new gritters.
An incredible 218 entries were made:
- Barnsleigh - The Ellis C of E Primary School and Cawthorne C of E Primary School
- Buzz Iceclear - Holy Rood Catholic Primary School and Trinity Academy St Edward's
- Can I Grit it? I Cannon 'all - Cawthorne C of E Primary School
- Hagrit - Jump Primary School
- Licence to Chill - Shafton Primary School
- Monk Grit-on - Athersley South Primary School
- Sir David Scattenborough - Holy Rood Catholic Primary School
- Sir Steve Ploughton - Jump Primary School
- Snowbi-Wan Kenobi - Springvale Primary School
- Snowbody's Perfect - Queens Road Academy
- Snowy McSnowplough - Gooseacre Primary School
- The Grittest Snowman - Springvale Primary School