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Who is responsible for gritting?

Who is legally responsible for keeping roads and pavements clear of snow and ice?

Responsibility is divided between the Highways Agency and Northamptonshire County Council, as per the table below.

Types of road etc  Responsible Agency  Contact Details
Motorways and trunk roads The Highways Agency
(a government agency)

08457 50 40 30 or 0121 335 8300
Principal routes in the county Northamptonshire County Council -  the highways authority


Which roads count as principal routes?

Each year the County Council publishes a leaflet, which sets out which roads it intends to keep clear - it covers about half of the total road network in the county

You can get live gritting information from Twitter, follow the County Council @nnhighways

NCC Gritting Routes

The County Council gives the following advice:-

"Priority is given to the roads carrying the highest volume of traffic and where the risk of accidents is greatest. In addition, certain local roads, servicing industrial areas, shopping centres and some key roads in towns and villages are also treated." 

In prolonged adverse weather conditions, additional roads will be treated provided that roads on the network above do not need additional treatment.

Are pavements covered by gritting?

The gritting of footways, including the centre of Kettering, is the responsibility of the County Council although the County generally gives priority to treating the roadways

What obligations does Kettering Borough Council have?

None. The Council is not funded either by government or by local council taxpayers to carry out any snow or ice clearance work.

Didn't Kettering Borough Council used to do some snow clearance in the town centres?

Kettering Borough Council has previously done work to clear snow and grit pavements in selected priority areas, although it has no funding for this.

Why did this practice stop?

The County Council wrote to Kettering Council on 24th June 2009 advising that it would do this work in future

What is happening now?

As a result of problems in late 2009, the Borough Council is undertaking some work. However, this is a temporary measure. We are only able to grit "by hand" - we have no specialised equipment for spreading grit. Nor do we have a large store of salt in its depot. Thus Kettering Council has a limited ability to treat areas, where we can we will try to assist in the following areas.

  • access to and around the Council's own sheltered housing schemes
  • avements and pedestrian areas in the towns centres of Kettering , Burton Latimer, Desborough and Rothwell.
  • pavements adjacent to the hospital in Rothwell Rd, Kettering and the medical premises in Northfield Avenue, Kettering.
  • some car parks

The Borough Council is largely dependent on the County Council being able to supply sufficient quantities of salt to do this work, and is limited by the fact that it has no funds dedicated to doing this type of work.

Can local residents and businesses assist in snow clearance?

Yes - details are included in the County Council's leaflet about the salt bins it maintains around the county, located usually where there is a steep or hazardous hill, or a sharp bend, but where gritting does not regularly take place. The bins are for public use to keep public roads and pavements clear but the salt is not intended for use on private drives. Should you find a bin which needs refilling, contact the County Council's Street Doctor