Skip to the content

Streets Ahead get ready for winter in Sheffield

Yellow gritting vehicle in front of white vehicle and cloudy sky

The council’s highways contractor is preparing for winter in Sheffield; getting ready for whatever the weather has in store this year.

October marks the start of the winter maintenance season and with a fleet of gritters and workers on standby 24 hours a day, Streets Ahead are ready to respond when icy conditions arrive.

Wayne Southall, Manager of Amey’s winter operations in Sheffield says:

“Last winter felt longer than usual, due in part to a long cold end to the season, extending through April and even into early May. This meant that our teams completed over 120 gritting runs, spreading over 14,000 tonnes of grit on the city’s roads making it one of the busiest winters in recent years.

“We don’t yet know what weather to expect in coming months, but we want Sheffield residents to rest assured that we will work around the clock to keep the city moving safely, through all conditions.

“During snow events, there’s always a real sense of community across Sheffield. And with over 2,200 grit bins, we would encourage residents to make use of local grit supplies when pavements become icy.”

Each year Streets Ahead receive lots of questions about its winter service, and one of the most frequently asked questions is the timing of gritting runs and how decisions are made when ice or snow is forecast. Last year, to keep everyone informed, Streets Ahead produced a handy video, answering the most common questions about the service. 

Wayne Southall continued:

“Our own weather forecaster provides us with a forecast in the morning and the main one at midday every single day during the winter period. Forecasters are on call 24/7 so we can talk to them whenever we need to. They also have access to ten local weather stations as well as national weather models.

“All of the gritters you see on Sheffield’s roads are between 18 and 23 tonnes each, about the same size as a bin lorry or a fire engine, and when there is a plough on the front, they’re actually wider, so we ask that everyone parks considerately so they can get through safely.”

Those same vehicles spread grit and plough before, during and after it snows. Sheffield’s two salt barns combined hold up to 15,000 tonnes of grit - equivalent of filling a football stadium up to head height!

Executive member for Housing, Road and Waste Management at Sheffield City Council, Councillor Paul Wood said:

“Winter can be unpredictable in terms of weather and in recent years we’ve had a real mix of conditions, affecting the city’s highway network in very different ways. Last year was particularly challenging, with the additional requirements to keep areas around Covid vaccine and testing centres clear.

“However, we know that it’s important that we can all continue to get around safely during adverse weather and Streets Ahead ensure that we can all do so, even during the toughest of conditions.

“In the event that we get more snowfall this year, I’d advise everyone to check out the information available online beforehand and really be in the know when it comes to snow!

“Our Area Highway Representatives will be on hand to respond to local issues and, as always, the council’s Estate Neighbourhood Officers will be out and about on council estates, helping to clear footpaths.”

Gritting is prioritised into Priority 1 and Priority 2 routes, with the former always being completed first. You can find out what these routes cover using the handy map on the website.

If you need to locate your nearest grit bin or your local grit bin is empty you can let Streets Ahead know, using the website or Twitter, and the team will refill it as quickly as possible. You can also find out how to hand spread grit effectively by watching the video on our website.

For more information about gritting routes and grit bin locations visit, call 0114 273 4567 or follow @sccstreetsahead on Twitter for real-time updates during bad weather.