Winter road treatment takes place between November and March. This ensures, as far as is practical, that safe passage along a highway is not endangered by snow or ice.
Where possible, we pre-grit the main routes before ice forms or snow falls. This takes place in a pre-determined priority order across the borough.
Our key objectives are to:
- minimise delays, accidents and damage resulting from snow and ice
- undertake winter service effectively and efficiently
Islington Enterprise, our contractor for these services, has road and footway gritting machines working 24/7, to minimise delays, accidents, and damage resulting from ice and snow.
Grit bins are also provided to enable the operatives to get at grit quickly and prevent bags of grit having to be provided by a vehicle. There are around 300 grit bins being used this winter.
When to grit?
During the winter months of November to March, we receive daily forecasts of snow and ice from the Met Office. We use these to make decisions on when to grit roads and pavements over the winter period.
People often wake up to a severe frost, scrape off their car and are then surprised to find that the roads have not been gritted. This is because action is taken on the road temperature being at or below freezing rather than the air temperature.
Roads retain heat and do not cool down nearly as quickly as objects such as cars, so frost on a car can be a misleading guide to whether gritting is needed on the roads.
Gritting is likely when road temperatures are at or below 1ºC and moisture is present or likely to be present to form ice.
Which roads are gritted?
Transport for London is responsible for many of the major roads and footpaths in Islington. These include most of the main shopping areas and many of the Tube and Rail stations.
We are responsible for the other roads and footpaths.
We cannot grit all roads due to cost and time restraints, therefore roads are prioritised based on a number of factors. After main roads, priority is given to hospitals, fire stations, ambulance stations and to at least one access road from the main road network to all communities.