How we decide when to grit roads

How we decide when to send the gritters out and our live Twitter feed on the decision for today.

Every day around noon we receive a 24-hour weather forecast for each area, together with road temperature sensor data. We use this information to help us decide which of the following is required:

  • Action: Gritting on any of the three forecast areas.
  • No action: Temperatures show there is no need for gritters to go out.
  • Delayed decision: We will decide whether or not to act when we receive another forecast at 5.00pm.

West Sussex is divided into three forecast areas to reflect the diverse weather conditions often experienced across the county.

Map of gritting areas in West Sussex
  • Coastal area: Bognor Regis, Worthing, Shoreham, Littlehampton, Chichester
  • Inland: Horsham, Crawley, East Grinstead, Haywards Heath, Burgess Hill, Storrington
  • Fernhurst: Midhurst, Fernhurst, Petworth

Road temperatures vary greatly across West Sussex, especially between the different forecast areas. This is why we make different decisions about each area and may treat them at different times.

Gritting network

Whenever ice is forecast, we carry out gritting (salting) of our roads to reduce the potential for ice forming on the road surface.

In the event of heavy snowfall (5cm or greater), our road network treatment will be reduced to cover key roads needed to keep the county open, providing access to A&E hospitals and 'blue light' services.

Our priority order for gritting will be:

  • Priority 1 - Ice and snow: Strategic (main) A roads and access roads to emergency services, except the trunk roads A27, A23 and M23, which are the responsibility of National Highways.
  • Priority 2 - Ice and snow: The remainder of the A and B road network.
  • Priority 3 - Ice only: Other important roads as defined, or meet the criteria, in Annex A of the Winter Service Plan 2022-2023.

Daily decision Twitter feed

Follow us on Twitter @WSHighways to see our daily decision on whether to send the gritters out.

Last updated:
10 October 2022
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