Wherever possible, in the interest of economy and efficiency,
precautionary salting will be undertaken after consideration of
both forecast and actual weather conditions.
The winter service system is divided into seven basic
- Carriageway Gritting
- Footway Gritting
- Cycleway Gritting
- Grit Bin Locations
- Footway Snow Clearance
- Carriageway Snow Ploughing
- Non Treatable Areas.
Please note that winter gritting
routes can be found on Sefton Maps.
Carriageway gritting routes are based on, but are not exclusive
to, the following LAA Code of Practice for Maintenance Management
(a) Category 2 (Strategic Routes)*
(b) Category 3a (Main Distributor)
(c) Category 3b (Secondary Distributor)
(d) Advisory HGV routes
(e) Access roads to hospitals
(f) All bus routes as supplied by Merseytravel
*The definition of Category 2 (Strategic Routes) includes Trunk
Roads, however the only Trunk Road within Sefton (A5036 Princess
Way / Church Road / Dunnings Bridge Road / Switch Island and their
associated structures) is maintained by the Highways Agency and
does not form part of the gritting route network.
Category 1 (Motorways) does not form any part of the highway
network and is therefore not included in the gritting route
The routes have been designed and optimised to maximise
efficiency. See the alphabetical list of carriageways included within
the gritting routes. (pdf 90kb)
In situations where Central Government impose reductions in salt
supplies Sefton Council will consider reverting to revised
gritting routes. See the alphabetical list of carriageways
included within the revised gritting routes. (pdf 70kb)
Footway gritting routes are based upon, but not wholly inclusive
of, the following LAA code of practice for maintenance management
(a) Category 1a (Prestige Walking Zone)
(b) Category 1 (Primary Walking Route)
(c) Category 2 (Secondary Walking Route)
See the alphabetical list of footways included within the
gritting routes. (pdf 48kb)
Under normal circumstances Sefton will not specifically grit
cycleways. They will only be gritted where they form part of the
approved carriageway and footway gritting routes.
Grit Bin Locations
Grit bins are provided, distributed and maintained on the
highway at key locations. They are for use by authorised persons as
an additional aid to provide the highway user safe passage through
the borough. Locations of grit bins will be determined by Sefton
Council and will be based on the following criteria as funding
- Bridges with made footways over railways and canals
- Footways on steep inclines
- Footways on sharp bends
Grit bins will not be provided at the following locations
(except in exceptional circumstances to be determined by Sefton
- Footways that are included on the footway gritting routes.
- Areas where no footway exists
See a map of grit bin
locations around the Borough. (pdf 340kb)
Footway Snow Clearance Locations
When accumulations of lying snow on the footway are deemed to be
sufficiently excessive as to cause a potential obstruction to the
free passage of the highway user, available resources will be
co-ordinated with the Environmental Protection Department and
targeted at priority locations. See the list of priority clearance
locations. (pdf 81kb)
Carriageway Snow Clearance
When accumulations of lying snow on the carriageway are deemed
to sufficiently excessive as to cause a potential obstruction to
the free passage of the highway user, snow ploughing will be
undertaken in addition to the gritting operation but only at
locations where it is safe to do so. This is likely to be locations
such as dual carriageways where lying snow could safely be ploughed
onto a central reservation. Where the operation is possible,
resources will be targeted in order of the hierarchy as identified
in Section 2.1. No ploughing will be undertaken at any location
that does not form part of the gritting routes.
Non Treatable Areas
All locations and routes within the borough not previously
identified in this document do not form part of the winter service
and are therefore deemed non-treatable areas.
Frequently asked questions
When to grit?
Sefton Council are recipients of a specialised weather
forecasting provided by MeteoGroup. The forecast,
received on a daily basis, gives predictions of the possibility of
freezing road temperatures, snow etc, and the time those conditions
In addition, throughout the winter season, an officer is on duty
24 hours a day to monitor road surface temperatures. This enables
decisions to be made if, or when gritting is necessary. The aim is
to treat carriageway routes once forecasted freezing temperatures
have been confirmed and footway routes when weather conditions
Grit Bin Provision
Requests for the provision of a grit bin are assessed and judged
against the criteria. They are only provided if full justification
can be shown. Please use the contact details above to make your
A request for the bin to be removed can be made. The agreement
of other residents in the area would be needed before the facility
is withdrawn. Please use the contact details above to make your
Carriageway Gritting Routes
At present, there are 8 carriageway gritting
routes which treat 209 miles (35%) of the total carriageway
network. These routes are gritted routinely when ice is forecast
and actual conditions dictate.
Latest Audit Commission guidelines suggest that
primary gritting routes should treat between 12% and 25% of the
carriageway network. Sefton therefore comfortably exceeds
What can I do?
Responding to public concerns, the Government have
published some common sense guidance on
their website to help shopkeepers and residents who want to
clear their paths without having to worry about falling foul of
health and safety law.
Any Other Questions?
Please use the contact details above to ask any questions about
Sefton's Winter Service Policy and Operational Plan.
Messages on Driving Safely in Winter Weather
Drivers are advised by the Highways Agency and the Department
for Transport's Think road safety campaign to follow six key safe
driving messages during the winter months.
- The British winter is unpredictable. If you must drive during
severe weather, make sure you are prepared for the conditions.
- Check local and national weather forecasts. Listen to travel
information on radio.
- Take care around gritters and snowploughs. Don't be tempted to
overtake snowploughs by squeezing into partially cleared
- It can take ten times longer to stop in icy conditions. Allow
extra room to slow down and stop.
- Use the highest gear possible to avoid wheel spin. Manoeuvre
gently and avoid harsh braking and acceleration. If you start to
skid, gently ease off the accelerator and try to avoid braking. If
braking becomes necessary, brake very gently.
- When driving in snow, make sure you're equipped with warm
clothes, food, water, boots, a torch and spade.
Highway Authorities Statutory Duty
The Highways Act 1980 Sections 41 and 58 clearly state that the
Highway Authorities have a statutory duty to maintain the highway
and must at all times take reasonable care to ensure that the
highway is not dangerous and that the standard of maintenance is
appropriate for a highway of that character and used by such
traffic. It must also ensure that a competent person must supervise
maintenance work, having received proper training with regard to
The Railways and Transport Safety Act 2003 (section 111) has
inserted an additional section (41(1)) to the Highways Act 1980
which places a duty on Highway Authorities in respect of winter
conditions, as follows:-
'In particular, a Highway Authority is under a duty to ensure,
so far as is reasonably practicable, that safe passage along a
highway is not endangered by snow or ice'.
In July 2005 the Code of Practice for Highway Maintenance
Management titled “Well-maintained Highways” was published
replacing “Delivering Best Value in Highway Maintenance”.
September 2013 saw the latest and extensive update to Section 13
and Appendix H of the “Well-maintained Highways” document providing
an up to ten year implementation plan which Authorities must strive
to achieve to provide a robust Winter Service.
Sefton Council Winter Service Policy and Operational Plan has
been updated to seek as far as reasonably practical to comply with
the revised guidance.
Whilst it must be accepted that it is impossible on the grounds
of both practicality and economy to prevent the formation of ice
and snow on all of the borough's roads and footways, Sefton
Council will use its best endeavours to meet its statutory
duty by minimising the detrimental effects of ice and snow on the
highway user. In order to do this, winter service operations will
be provided between the last Monday in October each year until week
commencing the last Monday in March the following year.
Winter service will provide the following:
- Precautionary salting to assist in the prevention of ice
formation as weather conditions dictate
- Post salting after the formation of ice and snow to assist in
the thawing process as weather conditions dictate and in the
appropriate circumstances as determined by competent officers
- Snow removal where it has been determined that post salting
would not have a desired effect on lying snow, and the amount of
snow has been determined, by competent officers, to be causing an
obstruction in contravention of Highways Act 1980 (section
- The provision, distribution and maintenance of grit bins.
All of the above will be provided on routes and at locations
specified within the Sefton Council Winter Service Policy and
Last Updated on 12/10/2013