Gritting and snow clearing

View the gritting and snow clearing updates around Aberdeen:

When freezing weather or snow are forecast, the roads in our area are treated with salt. We carry out winter maintenance work of salting, gritting and clearing on all Aberdeen roads. We work to codes of practice agreed nationally.

We have a coordinated strategy for winter maintenance to ensure that as well as the adopted roads network, other council maintained areas are treated on a priority basis. These include sheltered housing and social work properties, cemeteries and crematoria, shopping centres and access to facilities (where open) in the Council’s parks and gardens.

We will concentrate resources on gritting main roads and priority areas during these periods. All roads cannot be treated at once. If conditions are severe, all available resources will be concentrated on keeping the main roads open. If your road or footpath has not been ploughed or salted, please remember that the Winter Maintenance team may well be out working long hours in bad conditions, ensuring that main roads can be kept open and safe and that emergency services can access hospitals, fire stations and other important facilities.

Roads maintenance in severe weather

Aberdeen City Council is responsible for providing winter maintenance on 560 miles of road (that is more than the distance from Aberdeen to London) and over 1200 miles of pavements. During severe weather conditions we have to prioritise the roads and pavements.

There are 3 priorities of road network:

  • Priority 1 – Roads that are main transport routes including major bus routes. Priority 1 roads count for almost half of Aberdeen's road network. Priority 1 footpaths are mainly city centre based and are highly used by pedestrians.
  • Priority 2 - Roads that carry medium traffic flows or give access to community or public facilities of a non-urgent nature. All other footpaths that do not fall under priority 1 are treated on an area basis. Cycle paths are also treated as priority 2 footways.
  • Priority 3 – Minor roads where road users can make their way to the nearest higher priority route.

Our road gritters normally follow set routes around the city. Each route will have priority 1, 2 and 3 streets in it. When the weather allows we will do the whole in one go. But if the weather is severe we have to concentrate on the priority 1 streets, such as bus routes, to keep them clear and traffic moving.

Our pavement gritters are allocated to priority 1 pavements in the city centre, following two defined routes. The rest of the city is split into 24 areas and are treated on an area by area basis.

The routes and areas information also contains maps of the streets in each area and updates on where gritters have been, and when.

You can report ice, snow and gritting issues online or by contacting the Roads and Street Lighting team.

    Trunk Road Network

    Trunk roads that connect Scotland's major cities are managed by Transport Scotland, their Management Agent for the North East looking after the A90 and A96 routes is Bear Scotland.


    We currently have:

    • 90 staff 
    • Seven dedicated carriageway gritters
    • 14 demountable carriageway gritters
    • Four large gritters
    • 19 footway gritters
    • A de-icer applicator vehicle*
    • 11,726 tonnes of salt in stock (no grit is used although the vehicles are still called gritters)
    • Over 900 self-help Grit Bins, for more information and their locations visit Grit Bins.

    *De-icing fluid is only used if temperatures drop low enough to stop salt working. 


    Early morning and standby operations start from 16 November until 20 March or later should winter conditions continue. The situation is monitored 24 hours a day.

    Overnight operations generally treat the busiest roads. Early morning treatment occurs between 4:45am and 7am which ensures that main roads are salted before rush hour. This treatment covers 10 priority road routes and priority 1 footpath routes. Other pavements are treated from 7:45am if necessary.

    The majority of our roads and ground staff work on winter maintenance during prolonged adverse weather conditions.


    The Met Office provides localised forecasts on a daily basis.

    There are 7 road sensors which provide up to date information on temperatures and road conditions.The road sensors are at the following locations;

    • A90 Charleston Interchange
    • A90 Cornhill Roundabout
    • A96 Tyrebagger
    • Ellon Road
    • Jesmond Drive
    • A944 Westhill
    • Springhill Road (New this year)

    West Tullos Roads Depot

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