Roads and gritting
We all need to make sure we’re prepared in case of extreme weather. At Fife Council, we have staff working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week over the winter season who are dedicated to keeping Fife moving, whatever the weather.
Fife council has a statutory responsibility, under the Roads (Scotland) Act 1984, to take such steps as it considers reasonable to prevent snow and ice endangering the safe passage of pedestrians and vehicles over public roads. (*“Roads” include carriageways, car parks, footways, cycleways and pedestrian areas).
The Winter Gritting and Snow Clearing Services Policy is the means by which Fife Council seeks to provide an effective and efficient winter gritting and snow clearing service, to negate the effects of bad weather and road conditions which have the potential of causing delays and posing hazards for all road users.
Winter gritting and snow clearing involves treating roads in order to:
- prevent ice from forming (pre-salting)
- melt ice and snow (post-salting)
- remove snow (ploughing)
Decisions on whether or not to act must be taken with due care and on reasonable grounds. The object is to provide a winter gritting and snow clearing service which will, as far as is reasonably practical, within financial constraints and resource limitations:
- permit the safe movement of vehicles and pedestrians on the more important parts of the network
- seek to minimise delays and accidents attributable to weather conditions
- take cognisance of the environmental impact of the salting process
Closure alerts on FifeDirect
FifeDirect offers a free closure alerts service to keep you up to date with any unplanned closures of council facilities throughout Fife. This includes Local Services Centres, libraries, leisure centres, social work offices, recycling centres etc. You can sign up for these alerts by joining FifeDirect. Find out more about Closure alerts service at
Severe weather FAQs - Roads and grittingPublished by: Fife Council
During periods of severe weather there may be some disruption on Fife's roads. Hopefully the information provided here will answer most questions.
Q. Does Fife Council provide a list of snow ploughing or gritting routes?
Yes. This information is available on Fife Direct.
Q. What if emergency vehicles can't get through?
All our area teams work closely with the Emergency Services already. They talk regularly with representatives and any requests for assistance are dealt with as a top priority when we receive them from the emergency service in need. We have a system that means we can divert resources urgently to support this if necessary. This system has worked successfully in previous years.
Q. Is Dial-A-Ride/Ring-a-Ride (Fife Bus) still running?
This information will be updated daily in the event of severe weather, and may vary in different areas. Visit Fife Direct or call 03451 55 11 88 for more information.
Q. Are secondary roads and pavements being cleared?
- To help us decide which roads need our winter gritting and snow-clearing services first, they are organised into four levels of priority:
- Snow Routes – During severe weather Snow Routes are our first priority. These are the busiest roads in Fife which we need to keep clear to ensure essential communication links are maintained. This includes A-class roads, roads leading to hospitals, ambulance stations, fire stations, power stations, bus stations, railway stations and slip roads to trunk roads (e.g. A92).
- Primary Routes – Principal roads and main bus routes. There are 23 Primary Routes in Fife which altogether cover 59% of Fife’s road network. Fife Council has teams working 24-hours a day throughout the winter to treat Primary and Snow Routes.
- Secondary Routes – Other commuter routes, main feeder routes, shopping centres, access to isolated villages and hamlets and main food supply routes. These roads are treated for snow and ice once all the Primary Routes have been attended to, subject to resources being available.
- Other routes – This covers all other roads which serve limited numbers of properties, many of which are cul-de-sacs or residential loop roads. This category also includes unadopted roads.
- To find out what level of priority your road is on, search for ‘gritting routes’ in Fife Direct.
- In the event of severe weather, information on which level of roads we’re clearing will be updated daily on Fife Direct. Our actions may vary if weather conditions differ across Fife.
Q. Are residential areas being cleared?
See above information.
Q. Are speed bumps hampering Snow Ploughs clearing my street?
No. The ploughs Fife Council uses are designed to deal with speed calming measures.
Q. How often will my grit bin be refilled?
Grit bins are refilled at the start of winter and are then refilled periodically throughout the season. If your grit bin needs refilled contact us via FifeDirect or by calling 03451 55 00 11. We aim to refill grit bins within 5 working days of receiving a request.
Q. Is the council responsible for gritting my road and maintaining the grit bin my street?
Q. When will car parks throughout Fife be cleared?
- Like roads, car parks are classified into three levels of priority:
- Primary – Fee paying, railway station and Park & Ride car parks
- Secondary – Free car parks and other town centre car parks
- Other – all other car parks
- All Primary car parks are cleared of snow and gritted at the same time as Primary Routes. Car parks that are difficult to access, along with Secondary and Other car parks, will be treated for snow and ice once Primary car parks have been treated, subject to resources being available.
Q. Is the Council responsible for the Forth Road Bridge?
No, Fife Council is not responsible for the bridge, FETA (Forth Estuary Transport Authority) is. Find out more at www.forthroadbridge.org or by calling 0906 302 0298 (calls cost 50p per minute from a BT landline).
Q. Can the council get extra help to clear snow?
Yes. During severe weather we regularly redeploy employees from other Fife Council Services which means we have over 500 members of staff dedicated to winter maintenance. We also work with external suppliers who can provide machinery and operatives to help with the clear-up.
Q. My school has re-opened after being closed, is school transport also operating as normal?
Where a school is open the bus operator is, as far as possible, operating a normal service. However, where they cannot access side streets the bus operator has had to stick to the main roads. For more information parents should contact the bus operator. Telephone numbers can be found in the "getting to School" booklet provided to all pupils who require transport to school or on Fife Direct.