Clearing snow and ice

The city council and county council share responsibility for spreading grit to clear snow and ice in Cambridge.

City council responsibilities

When snow is forecast or has fallen, we check each of the sites we are responsible for every day, and spread grit as required.

The list includes car parks, main footpaths on open spaces, public toilets, some local shopping precincts and housing areas, including sheltered accommodation, flats and elderly person's bungalows. We will respond to areas not on this list as required.

We grit city centre pavements on request of the county council: all other highway pavements are the responsibility of the county council, as are bridges, cycle paths and guided bus routes.

If the snow fall is prolonged and prevents our other services from operating (ie refuse collection) we will deploy those teams to assist the county council to clear pavements, footpaths and other roads.

We also assist local community groups by providing bags of grit where requested, subject to availability.

To find out more about spreading grit or clearing snow and ice, email our customer service centre at or telephone 01223 458282.

Service announcements

If any of our services are affected by bad weather, we will post announcements below and on our Twitter feed.

County council responsibilities

As the authority responsible for maintaining the county's roads and pavements, Cambridgeshire County Council spreads grit on major roads, footpaths and cycle paths in cold weather - see a map of the county council's gritting routes.

For more information about road maintenance, telephone the Cambridgeshire Highways team on 0345 045 5212.

Tips for clearing snow and ice

In recent years, many residents have been keen to help keep untreated pavements and pathways safe by clearing snow and ice. We encourage local residents to play their part in helping the community in this way.

GOV.UK provides advice about how to safely clear snow from a road, path or cycleway: it advises you to start early and clear fresh snow instead of compacted ice, not use water, and use ordinary table salt, ash or sand to prevent ice forming.

The law

There is no law stopping you from clearing snow from the pavement and pathways outside your house or another public space.

If an accident did happen, it is unlikely you would be sued as long as you are careful and use common sense to make sure you don't make the pavement or pathway clearly more dangerous than before.

People using areas affected by snow and ice also have a responsibility to be careful.

Contact us

Waste and Streets team

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