With the support of a specialised winter weather forecasting service, we constantly monitor conditions throughout the winter maintenance period. This helps us determine the possibility of freezing road temperatures and snow and when those conditions may occur.
Roads we grit
It is not possible to treat every road in the city with the resources available to us. To deal with these challenges, a priority treated network has been established based on guidance from the government. This priority treated network covers over 1,200 kilometres (over 700 miles) - nearly 50% of the total length of all roads within the city. This is about the distance from Birmingham to the south of France!
The three priority levels our gritted network is divided into are:
- priority level 1 (all major roads within the city)
- priority level 2 (includes other roads with heavy traffic, which are an essential part of Birmingham's road network)
- priority level 3 (consists of other busy local roads, important routes identified by the emergency services, all frequent bus routes, main access routes to large residential areas and important commuter routes)
The gritting service operates from October through to May each year, and during this period, our fleet of gritters are on standby 24 hours a day.
In wintery weather, we routinely grit over 700 miles of road, nearly 50% of the total length of all of Birmingham's roads. These routes have been prioritised based on recommendations from Central Government and include major roads and access routes, bus routes and routes identified by the emergency services.
As well as the road network, some pavements in high footfall areas, such as the City Centre, also receive precautionary treatment. Footways in local shopping centres are cleared of snow if icy conditions persist, and resources are available.
Cycle tracks are gritted where they are part of a carriageway that is being gritted. If they are separate from the carriageway, they are considered part of footway priorities, which are gritted subject to resources being available.
Unfortunately, it is not possible to grit every road and pavement in the city or to carry out isolated treatment of individual roads that are not on the agreed priority routes; however, we do provide and stock grit bins for use on the public highway. Additionally, in the event of prolonged wintry conditions, we have a supplementary gritting programme which includes additional roads not normally treated.