Winter roads treatment

Road safety during the winter months is paramount. Motorists should always be aware of the risks they may be taking travelling on icy roads and be prepared accordingly.

Gritting and snow clearance

Gritting gets underway at 6.00am with priority 1 and 2 roads being gritted on every frosty day. The side roads (priority 3) with less traffic will only be treated when conditions, as assessed by the foreman and/or engineer, are considered to be severe. This would include the ploughing of all roads when there is a sufficient depth of snow.

  • Treatment will not normally be undertaken during the evening or overnight. However a gritter will be on standby in each area to respond to blue light emergencies, police "call-outs" and during periods of unexpected or severe weather.
  • Treatment is only carried out on Christmas Day and New Years Day on main routes for blue light emergencies, police "call-outs" and during periods of unexpected or severe weather.


Priority 1 (Red)

Principal roads linking major centres of population, major industrial sites and ferry terminals. Access routes to some schools and hospitals. Main through routes in Lerwick. These roads will be pre-salted when necessary.

Priority 2 (Yellow)

Other principal roads not included above linking smaller centres of population to the M1 network. Major loop roads. Main town streets in Lerwick and Scalloway. Accesses to any schools not on Priority 1 routes. These roads will not be pre-salted.

Priority 3 (Blue):

Side roads linking isolated communities to the M1, M2 and M3 network. Minor roads in housing schemes in Lerwick and Scalloway. Not normally to be treated for frost unless conditions are severe when we will grit the priority 3 routes following treatment of the Priority 1 and 2 routes. Grit piles will be provided for road users to assist themselves. Snow clearance will be as for the Priority 2 roads.