Information about Covid19:
Please read our information on how we are supporting residents and businesses, as well as information on affected services.

Gritting

Our Winter Service Plan states that we will salt (commonly known as "grit")

  • All A and B roads
  • Some other well used roads
  • Access to sites of strategic importance, including but not limited to hospital minor injury units, health centres, major transport interchanges and most fire stations
  • Access to the county's secondary schools

We call the network of roads we salt the Precautionary Salting Network. The network is over 1,400km (900miles) of road.

It is covered by 25 salting routes, which in normal circumstances ensures that salting activities are completed within three hours.

You can view a map of our precautionary salting network using the online mapping system.  You can view the whole network across Cornwall, or enter a postcode or street name to view which roads are salted in your area.

You can view the areas that will be salted over the next 24 hours by following  @CornwallCouncil.

Each salting lorry is carefully maintained to ensure that the correct amount of salt is spread on the roads, and all the drivers are fully trained and accredited for the work.

Please note in certain circumstances we may salt additional roads.  However we will only do this when the precautionary network has been completed, and additional salting will depend on the nature of the prevailing weather.

Salt (commonly known as "grit" when spread on the road) is used to lower the freezing point of water in frosty conditions which stops ice forming and reduces the possibility of skidding, or more serious road accidents.

Stored in salt barns around Cornwall, it can be used quickly by Cormac when weather forecasts indicate a freeze ahead.

Salting is usually done before freezing occurs. Weather forecasts often predict near freezing temperatures with rain, hail or sleet showers.

These showers can wash the salt from treated roads and leave them prone to freezing. This makes forecasting and planning salting difficult. 

We take every reasonable step to prevent freezing roads.

Cormac’s staff monitor the weather conditions throughout the day and night, liaising closely with forecasters specifically employed for this task.

There are also 11 roadside sensors that measure road temperature and other important information, automatically sending this information back to the forecasters and Cormac staff.

  • We will not routinely treat footways.  When there is a significant risk of icy conditions for long periods through the day we may salt busy footways in main towns. We can only do this if it does not affect the treatment of the precautionary network.
  • Salting or other work on the trunk roads, as these are the responsibility of the Highways Agency.
  • Salt all roads. This would be an enormous and costly task. We can salt the precautionary network only.
  • Always keep roads free of ice and snow.
  • We don’t do salting on request.  In the event of a whiteout, we will endeavour to undertake salting and clearance of routes off the main gritting routes once the precautionary network is clear.

To report urgent emergencies of ice or snow on the road that is resulting in hazardous conditions, please telephone 0300 1234 222 (24 hour service) giving details of the location. We will assess the situation and send resources to the places in most need when the precautionary network is clear and where resources permit.

For more information please see our winter service procedures.