Gritty subject

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Your letters

I write in response to concerns that West Sussex County Council does not grit the roads at weekends because it is too expensive. I would like to reassure readers we operate a 24-hour service, seven days a week, from November 1 to March 30.

The weather forecast provided by the Met Office for the roads in West Sussex is acted upon and salt spread on the road at timings that suit the forecast.

During the winter, West Sussex County Council spreads salt when required on 40 per cent of the county’s roads. While A and B roads are the priority, roads to large schools, employment centres, important bus routes and those used by the emergency services are also treated.

Cost is not a factor taken into consideration when the decision to spread salt is taken – only timing and quantity, as these have the greatest impact on road safety.

Salt will generally remain active on a road surface for at least 24 hours or until it’s washed off by rain.

Despite the high level of service we provide, no guarantee can be given that treated roads will always be completely clear of ice or snow. In severe cold weather, even salt will not prevent roads from icing.

It is, therefore, really important that motorists drive according to the conditions of the road and with extreme caution, regardless.

Our priorities for salting roads have been established on the basis of need and level of use. This generally includes all main roads and a link from each main village to the main road network.

West Sussex County Council advertises the gritting decisions each day on Twitter – @wshighways and using the #WSHighways hashtag.

Further advice on preparing and driving in winter conditions can be found on our web site,, under ‘Roads and footways’.

Pieter Montyn

Cabinet member for highways and transport,

West Sussex County Council

County Hall, Chichester

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