How we keep roads clear of ice and snow in winter.
We usually salt between 28 October and 31 March.
We are committed to keeping a network of major roads free from ice to minimise the risk of accidents and ensure the smooth flow of traffic. Precautionary salting (sometimes called 'gritting') helps achieve this aim.
Clear spells through the first half of the night but cloud will start to thicken. Mostly cloudy through the second part of the night but it should remain dry. Brisk south-easterly winds developing.
The information was updated: 5th April 2018 12:00pm
|Salting zone||Road surface temps below 0°C||Action||Commencing time am/pm|
|North zone (Cotswolds)||No||
|Central zone (Central Oxfordshire)||
|South zone (Chilterns and North Wessex Downs)||No||
|Last salting undertaken on 28th March 2018||Yes||Full pre-salt||9pm|
The above data is updated daily between 28 October and 31 March with our salting decisions but may be extended if weather conditions require it.
The following map shows all the roads that will receive attention. Click "Other layers" and then "Gritting routes" to see the full network.
We anticipate that each salting route will take approximately three hours to complete. All routes will be undertaken simultaneously.
We aim to have all work completed before ice would form on road surfaces.
It would be unrealistic and uneconomic to salt all roads, although we do manage to treat 43 per cent of the county council's road network which is above the national average and comparable to neighbouring authorities. Certain county roads have been identified as important routes because they:
We decide when to carry out precautionary salting using:
Even if freezing temperatures are predicted, there may be no need for precautionary salting if:
Although we make great efforts to keep roads clear in winter, drivers must never assume that a road will be free from ice. This is because:
Remember: speed kills, especially in icy conditions. Kill your speed to make your driving safer.
Footways only get limited attention because clearing them is very labour intensive. Only major shopping areas are likely to be treated with salt/grit in the early stages following snowfall. See our page on salt and grit bins for information on how to request one in your area.
Snow can take much longer to clear than ice. Heavier applications of salt are needed when snow settles on roads more than one inch deep. As with salting, roads will be treated in order of importance, starting with priority routes.
Alternatively you can view our Oxfordshire Snow Guide (pdf format, 428KB)
In the event of adverse weather conditions we rely on school transport operators to judge whether they will be able to safely transport children to and from school. If you have queries on whether school transport is running we suggest you contact the operator directly.
You can check our school closures page to find out whether your school is open.
You can also report snow and ice online using our online reporting tool.