Alert Section

Road Clearance

During periods of severe weather, we grit and clear snow from 560 kilometres of priority roads across Flintshire. You should try to use these roads as we will attempt to clear and grit them.

View a map of Flintshire's Priority 1 routes

Priority routes are the most important roads for road users. They are chosen to maintain transport connections for as many communities as possible.  They account for approximately 45% of the County’s highways and include at least one access road to each community.

How priority routes are chosen

Priority routes are decided by road classification and usage. Once the Priority 1 routes are cleared, we concentrate on Priority 2 roads. Once priority routes are clear, we will look at minor routes. However, if conditions get worse, we will concentrate our efforts back on the higher-priority roads.

We do not clear or salt un-adopted roads or private driveways. We also consider any changes to roads/layouts due to new development etc.

All roads within Flintshire have been classified as either priority 1, 2 or 3 routes.

Priority 1

Roads carrying a substantial amount of traffic having characteristics which require protection from frost throughout the night.

These routes form the spinal road network and need to be high priority to keep the traffic moving.

Priority 2

Unclassified roads that form main routes in both urban and rural areas and known problem areas.

i.e. sections of roads with significant gradients, exposed areas and other topographical features.

These routes will be treated in snow and prolonged ice once the Priority 1 routes are completed and if we have enough resources.

Priority 3

All remaining roads.

The treatment of these routes will normally depend on resources after we have done Priority 1 and 2 routes and will be restricted to operations carried out within normal working hours.

The percentage of the total road network treated as a Priority 1 by Flintshire County Council is above the Wales national average.

Footways and cycle tracks are not included in the priority salting routes. However, when covered by heavy snow/ice, high-use footways such as town centres will be cleared and treated once resources allow.

Sudden weather changes

When there are sudden weather changes, it may not look like we have treated the roads. Please be aware:

  • it takes time before the salt is effective;
  • rain can dilute or wash salt off the roads, leaving them more likely to freeze;
  • in extremely cold weather salt will not prevent ice on roads;
  • when rain turns to snow at rush hour, the gritting vehicles will be affected by traffic congestion;
  • if conditions are particularly severe, service vehicles may be unable to access to the road network.

There are some situations in which we cannot respond as quickly:

  • on a wet night followed by a rapidly clearing sky, gritting will begin once the rain has stopped. In these conditions, temperatures can fall very rapidly and the wet roads could freeze before we have been able to grit them.
  • when dry roads are affected by dawn frost. This occurs when morning dew develops, falling onto the cold road and freezing on impact. It is impossible to predict when or where dawn frost will occur.

Where we don’t grit

Doctor’s surgeries

There are frequent requests and questions about the treatment of roads leading to doctors' surgeries. Routes are prioritised based on the volume of traffic and most hospitals are on treated roads. Treating all such routes would have a negative effect on the service provided on other routes that carry more traffic. This would have an effect on the budget because of the need for additional resources. However, we will keep these requests under review.

Doctors / dentists / school car parks

This responsibility rests with those who own or operate the car park. Schools are asked if they wish to procure salt from the Council’s highway supplier ready for the winter period. The schools themselves are responsible for snow clearance within the school boundaries.

Some bus routes

Most service bus routes are treated but not all bus routes can be covered; there are simply too many of them, particularly in rural areas. All roads that have 8 or more bus services per hour are included within the Priority 1 routes.

Report a problem with a priority route

Email or call 01352 701234.

Requesting to add a road to the priority routes

All roads are carefully surveyed before winter to determine their priority classification.  However, if you do feel conditions on a particular road are regularly dangerous enough to justify a higher priority you can contact us and we will consider your request. However, our resources are limited. Whilst we consider your request, it may not be possible to agree.

Contact Streetscene