Winter is coming!

Published: 06 Oct 2017

It’s that time of year when we bid farewell to summer and start thinking about the colder days and darker nights as winter looms.

Hertfordshire County Council is already gearing up with the start of its winter maintenance service, which runs from 1 October until the end of April, and gritters are being prepared to be ready for action when the temperature plummets.

Our highways contractor, Ringway, has a fleet of 58 gritters on standby to salt the county’s roads when icy conditions are forecast.

Gritter crews will be ready around the clock to cover nearly half of Hertfordshire's entire road network – that’s more than 1,400 miles (2,230km) or the equivalent of salting from Hertford to Berlin and back.

Ralph Sangster, Cabinet Member for Highways, said: “During the winter months we make sure that our gritters are ready, our salt stocks are high and the county’s 1,000-plus salt bins are topped up.

"Salt is the best material we have to treat ice and snow, but it's by no means perfect, so we recommend that residents take great care when driving or walking when it’s icy or snowing."

Our website has plenty of advice to help you stay safe this winter, including information on clearing snow and ice from outside your property, to staying safe on the roads. Visit for more information.

Hertfordshire County Council supplies salt to schools, as well as district, borough and parish and town councils so they can use their local knowledge to identify exactly where best to use the salt during severe weather. District and borough councils that help with clearing high priority pavements can apply for up to 30 tonnes of salt to assist with highway treatments at no cost.

Community groups and residents associations can also access free gritting salt and last year some 200 local groups took advantage of this.

Application forms can be found at from the ‘Winter self-help’ section and must be received by the county council by 1 November.

For more information about Hertfordshire County Council’s winter service programme or to receive real-time updates direct to your computer or mobile phone visit and follow the 'salting decision' link.

You can also find out the latest salting decisions by following us on Twitter via #grittertwitter on

To see a map of all the routes we salt when temperatures are below zero visit and select ‘Winter gritting routes’ from the 'Driver Information' menu.

If you need assistance, are struggling to heat your home and don’t know who can help, call HertsHelp, a network of community organisations, on 0300 123 4044 or email for free help, advice and information or visit