Winter Information Centre

Gritting and our free grit service

Be ready for snowy and icy conditions - free grit given out on the weekend of 25-26 November 2017.

Once again this year the council offered residents and businesses in the London Borough of Sutton the opportunity to collect 10kg of free grit per household or business.

Over 1,200 residents turned up to collect their free grit to use on footpaths, pavements or roads in front of their homes or business premises. 

Grit could be collected for elderly friends and neighbours, or residents/businesses who don’t have cars. 

The free grit was available from the following locations and times: 

  • Woodcote Green Garden Centre, Woodmansterne Lane, Wallington, SM6 0SU

    Saturday 25 November, 8.30am - 5pm
    Sunday 26 November, 10am - 4pm
  • Kimpton​ ​Park​ ​Reuse​ ​and​ ​Recycling​ ​Centre​, Kimpton Park Way (off Oldfields Road, A217), Sutton, SM3 9QH

    Saturday 25 November, 9am - 5pm
    Sunday 26 November, 9am - 2pm

Grit bins near you.

You can also get a small amount of grit from grit bins located throughout the borough. These are normally found at the end of a number of streets so you should be able to find one near you. If a grit bin is empty, please tell us using our online Report an empty grit bin form

Find out where the nearest grit bins to you are here.

Where do we grit?

There are over 400km of roads in the borough, and more than double that amount of footpaths. Keeping them clear of ice and snow is a demanding task.

In order to make sure we can respond to severe weather conditions and keep the roads safe and passable when conditions are icy, or we experience snowfall, our Gritting Service operates a Winter Maintenance Plan.

As it isn't possible to grit all the roads in the borough, this plan highlights the roads regarded as a priority to keep clear and safe for road users. These priority roads are usually those that are the main transport routes, areas outside schools, GP surgeries and health centres, high streets and care homes.

The Gritting Service will ensure that these are the first roads that are gritted.

When we receive advice from the Met Office that severe weather is on its way precautionary gritting will take place, this helps prevent ice forming. If we have snowfall, then further gritting will take place - this helps melt the snow and ice that has already formed. 

How do we grit?

We have three large gritting vehicles which we use to make sure our priority routes are passable.
In addition, we have two gritting trailers which are used to grit areas more difficult to access.
We also have hand-held gritters which our street scene staff can use for the pavements and roads that the vehicles can't reach.
In addition, all the red routes are the responsibility of Transport for London and will be gritted by them.

Gritting routes in Sutton

While these maps give an indication of the roads we grit during winter, all roads are individually assessed according to their ground temperature and certain roads are prioritised over others. View Gritting routes in Sutton.

Using your grit

Advice about how to get the most out of your bag of grit:

  • Use your snow shovel to clear new snow prior to applying your grit
  • Please use your grit sparingly, there is a maximum of 10kg of grit per household
  • Store it in a shed or garage, keep it off the ground and covered (to avoid salt seepage)
  • If the grit is kept covered and dry it will last for a few years
  • Use the grit sparingly to clear paths, pavements, roads and steps outside the front of your home if they are covered in snow or ice
  • Grit won't melt snow and ice on its own. It relies on a chemical reaction which is triggered when walked or driven on.
  • Heavy traffic and footfall means the grit will last about 6 hours and may then need recovering. Whilst the salt may disappear, the grit will remain for longer and still be effective.
  • 10kg of free grit is available to all households including flats and maisonettes.
  • Don't put grit down the drain as it may clog and cause blockages.