Our winter road treatment takes place between November and March. This ensures, as far as is practical, that safe passage along a highway is not endangered by snow or ice.
Where possible, we pre-grit the main routes before ice forms or snow falls. This takes place in a pre-determined priority order across the borough.
Our key objectives are to:
- minimise delays, accidents and damage resulting from snow and ice
- undertake winter service effectively and efficiently
Islington Council has road and footway gritting machines working 24/7, to minimise delays, accidents, and damage resulting from ice and snow.
Grit bins are also provided to enable the operatives to get at grit quickly and prevent bags of grit having to be provided by a vehicle. There are around 300 grit bins being used this winter.
When to grit?
During the winter months of November to March, we receive daily forecasts of snow and ice from the Met Office. We use these to make decisions on when to grit roads and pavements over the winter period.
People often wake up to a severe frost, scrape off their car and are then surprised to find that the roads have not been gritted. This is because action is taken on the road temperature being at or below freezing rather than the air temperature.
Roads retain heat and do not cool down nearly as quickly as objects such as cars, so frost on a car can be a misleading guide to whether gritting is needed on the roads.
Gritting is likely when road temperatures are at or below 1ºC and moisture is present or likely to be present to form ice.
Which roads are gritted?
Transport for London is responsible for many of the major roads and footpaths in Islington. These include most of the main shopping areas and many of the Tube and Rail stations.
We are responsible for the other roads and footpaths.
We cannot grit all roads due to cost and time restraints, therefore roads are prioritised based on a number of factors. After main roads, priority is given to hospitals, fire stations, ambulance stations and to at least one access road from the main road network to all communities.
The order in which the roads will be gritted is available below via on a downloadable map at the bottom of this page. Winter Gritting Streets Priority 1 (blue), are the first streets to be gritted followed by Winter Gritting Streets Priority 2 (gold), Winter Gritting Streets Priority 3 (green) and Winter Gritting Other Streets (these roads will be gritted subject to necessity after Priority 1,2 and 3 have been completed).
Please be careful when cycling in Islington, as operationally it is very difficult for a gritter to ensure that these routes are cleared. In some cases part of the cycle route will be cleared as part of the road or footway clearance.
Who to contact
Transport for London is responsible for many of the major roads and footpaths in Islington. For snow clearance and gritting enquiries on these roads and footpaths please visit Transport for London.
For enquiries on other roads and footpaths please contact Contact Islington.
Handy winter tips
Driving in bad snow
think before you drive, is your trip necessary?
have you checked what the weather is going be like?
Be equipped. Take warm clothing, food and a torch and you may want to pack a spade in case you get stuck.
if possible let someone know when you expect to arrive
Travelling on foot
is your journey really necessary?
wear appropriate footwear and wrap up warm
avoid walking on pavements in the shade, the sun can still thaw the snow and ice and make it extremely slushy and slippery
Clearing snow and ice from pavements
The 'Clearing snow and ice from pavements yourself' document below provides comprehensive guidance on how to clear snow and ice from pavements safely.