East Lothian Council

Winter road maintenance

Road and pavements FAQS

Road surrounded by snow

Why can't you grit every road?

The adopted road network in East Lothian is over 900km long and with the limited resource we have available it is not possible to treat all roads.

The Council has a priority system, to make sure that we treat those areas in greatest need first. Read more about the gritting priorities.

How does the Council decide when to treat our roads?

The Council receives weather forecasts from the Met office for the East Lothian area on a daily basis.

Our main priority is to keep Primary routes free from ice and snow. To be most effective, the gritting should take place before ice forms or snow settles. Anticipating these conditions, and reacting correctly, depends on a mixture of local knowledge and experience, good local weather forecasts and an awareness of the current road condition e.g. is it wet, dry, previously treated or not.

Do you grit the A1 Trunk Road?

No, the A1 is maintained by AMEY on behalf of the Transport Scotland.

How do I request that a road is treated?

Call 01875 612818, but be aware that the treatment priorities set by the Council will be followed and it may be some time before your request can be looked at.

The road in my housing estate is icy and difficult for me to get my car in and out of, can you grit this?

Residential areas, cul-de-sacs and other unclassified roads are priority three and will only be treated after primary and secondary routes, so it may be some time before these areas are cleared and gritted.

I'm a cyclist - what about me?

Cyclists should travel to consider the road conditions and be aware of the primary routes and try and use these if possible.

I have fallen due to the ice, what are you going to do about it?

Footpaths do not normally receive pre-treatment. We follow a priority system for footway treatment. Read more about the gritting priorities for footpaths.

There are a lot of elderly people here. Why don’t they get priority ?

Priority has to be based on greatest use to keep main thoroughfares open, for example access to hospitals and schools. We will do our best to prioritise locations where we know there are older people with a serious illness or disability; however, we would also encourage people to look out for their neighbours in extreme weather.

Will you grit my footpath, I am elderly and need 24hr access as the ambulance comes twice a week etc?

Footpaths are not normally pre-gritted, however, if there is persistent severe weather, requests of this nature will be prioritised and included in the gritting schedule, managed by the duty officer on call.

I really need a salt bin, can I get one?

There are currently 900 salt bins placed at strategic locations across East Lothian. If we receive a request for a new salt bin by a member of the public the location will be assessed and if it meets the criteria for the provision of a salt bin we may place a bin in that location.

The salt bin in my street is empty when will you re-fill this?

We inspect and fill all of our grit bins in the autumn. After that we rely on the public to tell us if a bin needs to be re-filled and we then try to re-fill these as soon as possible. If there is snow, the bins will only be re-filled if staff and equipment become available to undertake the work. The salt should be used very sparingly, as it does not aid grip but is supplied to assist in preventing the formation of ice and melting of snow. It is provided for use only on public roads and pavements only.

Can I collect salt/grit from a council depot?

No, we are not able to supply salt/grit to people visiting the council depots. You can buy salt/grit from most DIY stores, when the weather is really bad it is best to check by telephone that they have stocks available.

If you can’t get hold of salt/grit try some sharp sand to aid with grip on icy paths and driveways.

Environmental Services

Telephone: 01875 824305

Out of hours emergency contact

Telephone: 01875 612818

East Lothian Council, John Muir House Brewery Park Haddington East Lothian EH41 3HA.