East Lothian Council

Winter road maintenance

Gritting myths

Car covered in snow

We would urge all road users to take extra care if temperatures are well below freezing and advise that grit is not as effective at temperatures below -5 degrees.

The Council continues to grit the routes it treats but there are some commonly held myths about gritting.

Whatever the temperature salt will melt snow and ice

Untrue – the effectiveness of salt used on roads significantly decreases below -5 degrees C and does not melt ice below -9 degrees C

Once a gritter has put salt on the road, it will melt ice

Untrue – spreading salt is only the start of the de-icing process. It needs movement and crushing by traffic for it to start to be effective. When traffic volumes are low, roads can remain icy for some time, often until there is a significant traffic flow.

Salt on fresh snow will melt this quickly

Untrue - salt only works when the snow is less than 40mm deep and traffic can move the salt around. Snow ploughs will endeavor to plough snow to this depth before spreading salt.

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.