Gritter waggon at the depot


The council has a team of gritting staff and eight gritting vehicles. Our staff are on 24 hour call from mid-November until the end of March.

Every time the gritters go out, they cover around 260 miles of Sandwell's roads, each time putting down around 55 tonnes of salt.

Last winter (2017/18) our gritters completed 91 runs covering 23,660 miles (the distance from Sandwell to Christchurch in New Zealand and back).

We used just over 5,000 tons of salt on our main routes and when including cemeteries, treating some of our side roads and refilling over 540 grit bins we used just over 6,200 tons. This is the equivalent of more than 1,000 African male elephants. December 2017 alone saw us use almost as much grit as we did throughout the 2016/17 winter season.

In the winter of 2016/17, we completed 38 runs and used more than 2,000 tons of salt covering 9,880 miles (the distance from Sandwell to Cancun and back).

In the winter of 2015/16, the gritting crew completed 37 runs covering 9,620 miles using 2,035 tonnes of salt. And in the winter of 2014/15, the team completed 58 runs covering 15,080 miles, spreading 3,190 tonnes of salt.

Here are some frequently asked questions about gritting and a list and plans of our gritting routes.

How can I find out if the gritters are out?

You can easily keep up to date with our gritters using social media.

Join us on Facebook

Facebook iconFollow us on the Sandwell Facebook page to find out when our gritting crews are out, if schools are closed and information on how frosty or snowy weather is affecting Sandwell.

Gritter Twitter

Twitter iconWant to find out if the gritters are on the road? Need updates on school closures and weather forecasts? Follow @sandwellcouncil on Twitter. During bad weather we'll be using the #wmgrit hashtag.

You can also follow our highways team on Twitter.

Snow Champions

If you're a Snow Champion, find out how to clear snow safely.

Report a problem with a grit bin

Fill in this online form to report a problem with a grit bin - for example if it is damaged, missing or tipped over.

Report a problem with a grit bin

Please, note, you cannot use this form to ask for a grit bin to be re-filled. We regularly check and re-fill grit bins over the winter, please bear with us - your grit bin will be re-filled soon.

You cannot use this form to request a new or replacement grit bin. When a new estate or road is built, we look at where grit bins are needed.

School closures during bad weather

If it's snowing or very icy some schools may be closed - find out how to check the latest information on school closures.

Clearing snow safely

If it snows, find out how to clear snow safely.

Winter driving advice

When winter bites, will you and your vehicle be ready?

Highways England, which manages motorways and major A roads, has some useful advice about preparing for your journey and driving in severe weather on its winter web pages, on their Facebook page and on Twitter.