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Cardiff Council

Winter maintenance

​​​​​Cardiff Council has plans in place to ensure the city is kept moving during the winter period.

At the start of the season, the Council will have over the recommended amount of salt stock available. This is more than the Welsh Local Government Association recommendation that Councils shoul​d hold one and a half times the average amount of salt used annually during the last six years​.

The time taken to return roads to a serviceable condition will be highly dependent upon a number of factors including the amount of snow, type of snow, and continuing weather conditions, in particular temperatures and further snowfall.  

The Council’s priority will be principal roads and once these have been cleared, the remainder of the pre-salted network will be tackled.

Several cycle routes will be treated where they form part of the carriageway which is part of a designated salting route. It is important that all road users take extra care at times when winter weather conditions are being experienced.  

A limited network of footways will be treated when snow has fallen.   A priority list of footways has been developed and the highest priority, which is based on footfall, is the main pedestrianised area within the city centre and district shopping centres.  

During periods of disruption caused by snow, the Council will ensure extra in-house resources to help with the winter maintenance work required to return its highway network to a serviceable state as soon as possible are in place.   Additional external resources will also be deployed if and as necessary.

We usually carry out precautionary salting of roads whenever ice, frost, snow or freezing rain is forecast.
Salt is generally spread in advance of the sub-zero temperatures unless residual salt is remaining from previous salting events.
A series of ice prediction outstations are present throughout the city. Up to the minute information is monitored by a duty officer who is available 24 hours a day from 1 November through to 31 March.


This enables a decision to be made on whether to pre-salt the highway network.

​With more than 600 miles of roads across Cardiff, it is not possible for all roads to be treated with salt when ice or snow is forecast so following consultation with transport providers, the police and emergency services, we have identified a priority network of routes that will be pre-salted when freezing conditions are forecast.

This network comprises of: 

  • ​All A roads
  • The majority of B roads
  • some C roads
  • other non-classified roads 


Where the forecast does not require all of this network to be salted, only roads identified as colder than average and known wet areas will be treated.

A-Z of roads that are salted (XLS 14 KB)​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Link opens in a new window 

View the salted routes on the map​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​External link opens in a new window

Cycle routes are only treated where they form part of the carriageway which is part of a designated salting route.

A limited network of footways will be salted when ice or snow is forecast. A priority list of footways has been developed. 


The highest priority footpaths, based on footfall, are the main pedestrianised areas in the city centre. These will be pre-treated when local surface temperatures are forecast to fall below zero.


A-Z of footways that are salted (XLS 10 KB)​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Link opens in a new window  

​Resources are on stand-by 24 hours a day between 1st November and 31st March to ensure that salting can be done as soon as it is needed.


We have 9 vehicles to spread salt on the roads and they are also fitted with ploughs to help with clearing snow from roads if needed.

Roads which are not part of a salting route may be provided with a salt bin if it meets the agreed criteria.

Salt containers are provided for use by members of the public and also the emergency services on the adopted highway. We will provide a salt container where a need has been identified on routes that are not on the pre-salting network.


There are currently more than 400 salt containers located across Cardiff.

These salt containers are provided for use by members of the public and also the emergency services on the adopted highway, but not on private driveways, footways and the like.

It is important to note that the Council cannot provide a container if it does not meet the agreed criteria. When a request for a salt container is received, the location will be assessed in line with these criteria.

It should be noted that salt containers may be removed following repeated reports of damage or vandalism. Containers are inspected and refilled if needed after periods of prolonged frost or snow, or on request.

Report a broken or empty salt bin​.


Locations of salt containers (XLS 27 KB)​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Link opens in a new window

The salting of roads is essential to keep Cardiff moving, when snow, ice or frost is forecast. However, the Council also recognises that salt may have an adverse impact upon the environment if not properly managed.

The Council aims to ensure all salt is accurately spread at the appropriate rates to address the forecast weather conditions. The new fleet of gritting vehicles are calibrated to ensure maximum efficiency of salt spread.

Salt bin locations

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