Snow and gritting

Throughout the winter, we have six gritters spreading rock salt on roads to prevent ice forming. We store 1,200 tonnes of salt at Ashmead Depot at the beginning of the season and replenish stocks as the season progresses.

We can't grit all roads because of the time it would take and the cost involved. We grit on principal roads, classified roads, important access roads and some, but not all bus routes. Our routes are designed to cover critical areas such as hospitals, fire and police stations.

Roads that are gritted

The precautionary road gritting routes are in:

  • Brentford/Isleworth
  • Chiswick
  • Cranford/Heston
  • Feltham/Hanworth
  • and Hounslow

Gritting frequently takes place late at night or very early in the morning.

It is timed to ensure the whole gritting network is treated before we think that ice might form on the road. As far as possible we try to avoid gritting during rush hour periods. We can’t grit the borough’s entire 268 miles of road network because of the time it would take and the cost involved. Our normal six gritting routes cover 82 miles.

Trunk roads in the borough

We grit some of the trunk roads in and around the borough.  However, certain roads are not our responsibility.

The roads below are managed by Transport for London (TfL):

  • A4 (Bath Road, Great West Road, Cedars Road, Ellesmere Road, Hogarth Lane, Great Chertsey Road)
  • A30 (Great South West Road)
  • A406 (Gunnersbury Avenue)
  • A205 (Kew Bridge Road)
  • A312 (The Parkway, The Causeway, Faggs Road, Harlington Road West, Harlington Road East, Uxbridge Road, Hampton Road West)
  • A316 (Country Way, Great Chertsey, Alexandra Avenue, Burlington Lane)

The M4 and M25 are treated by the Highways Agency.

If you believe that a road we treat has not been gritted please contact us online.

Contact us if you need us to grit a road

Decision to grit the roads

Throughout the winter season, between 14 November and 11 March, we operate a winter service duty rota that provides 24/7 cover to monitor weather conditions and make appropriate decisions. We interpret information provided by a specialist winter weather forecasting bureau that provides forecasts throughout the winter season. The forecasts, which come four times every day, give predictions of the possibility of freezing road temperatures or snow, and the time those conditions may occur.

Asking for a road to be added to the precautionary gritting network

The schedule of treated roads has been developed over a number of years and is reviewed annually. Any requests for additional roads will be considered during the end of season review. No routes can be added to the schedule during the current winter season.

When snow is on its way

When snow is forecast salt is spread on the roads to slow the rate of snow settling however much more salt is needed than when spreading salt to prevent ice forming. When snow fall reaches a certain rate salt can no longer prevent it from accumulating. In a built up area like Hounslow it is not practicable to use snow ploughs to clear snow from the roads, there is too much traffic, too many parked cars and there is no space to push the snow in to.  We will continue to spread salt on top of the snow, which does make it melt more quickly.

My road is very icy

Any requests are subject to route priority, prevailing conditions and available resources. Unfortunately as we are inundated with such requests on a daily basis, it is unlikely that we would be able to meet the additional demand.

Grit pavements in the town centre

Widespread footway gritting is labour intensive and is not automatically done. We will only grit pavements at certain locations such as bus stops, tube stations or at the main entrance to schools and hospitals. It takes considerable time to do this and ice or frost lasting only for short periods cannot be treated in time before temperatures rise enough to melt naturally. Only where persistent snow appears do we endeavour to grit pavements on a reactive basis.

With nearly 500 miles of pavements in Hounslow, salting every single one is simply not feasible – our efforts have to be concentrated on areas that will benefit the most people.

Please note: we do not provide grit bins and we cannot supply individuals with salt

Local builders’ merchants, hardware stores and other suppliers usually sell rock salt for private use.  Calcium chloride and sodium chloride salt may also be used.

Contact us

Hounslow Highways website

Telephone: 020 8583 2000

Hounslow Highways
Jubilee House 
Depot Road




rating button