Dozens of roads and streets will be prioritised for gritting in Reading as winter approaches and temperatures are expected to drop.

Every year, Reading Borough Council prepares for potentially hazardous conditions on the roads it manages, which involves using salt to unfreeze road surfaces.

The council has two lists of roads that it prioritises, divided into a primary and secondary salting network.

There are 131 roads that are on the council’s primary salting network list, including the main roads such as Bath Road, Oxford Road, Basingstoke Road and London Road.

The majority of those included have gritting along the entirety of the road, whereas some are gritted along the most important stretches between key junctions.

There are 78 roads which have secondary priority for salting. The prioritisation means that the council’s contractor J.H. Cresswell and Sons is asked to grit within one hour for primary list roads and three hours for the secondary roads.

The full list of roads featured is contained in the council’s Winter Service Plan 2023/24.

See the primary priority roads here:

You can see the secondary priority roads here:

At a meeting where the service plan was presented, councillor Stephen Goss (Conservative, Emmer Green) argued that Kidmore End Road, a major north-south route in Caversham, should be included in the primary priority list.

Cllr Goss said: “As things stand Kidmore End Road is a secondary priority for salting over the winter, given the amount of additional traffic that will be travelling along the road now there is a housing development at the former golf course, surely on the basis of what is included in the report in terms of HGVs and levels of traffic, it should be moved towards a primary salting road?”

Sam Shean, highways and traffic services manager replied that gritting is prioritised based on traffic levels, a bus route and whether it is a classified road (i.e an A Road or B Road).

He added that Kidmore End Road is set to be re-evaluated for primary priority gritting next winter.

Cllr Goss also raised the issue of limited salting of cycling routes in the town.

Mr Shean replied that the method for gritting in cycle routes is different.

He said: “You won’t grit at the same time every night, it depends rainfall, cloud clearance, drop in temperatures etc.

“At the moment we go out with three trucks, and a computer will activate the gritting at the right level. When we go to remote cycleways, it becomes a different operation, it becomes an operation which is manually delivered.

“You’ll have a quadbike towing a bucket of material.”

These quadbikes are then used to dispatch the grit.

There are no changes to the primary and secondary salting routes for the 2023/2024 winter season.

However, the council has announced that Shinfield Road will receive additional gritting to ensure the segregated cycle lanes established there are de-iced, and the same will be done when cycle lanes are established in Bath Road.

The Winter Service Plan was approved at a meeting of the council’s housing, neighbourhoods & leisure committee on Wednesday, November 8.