Travelling safely in winter

A car driving in snow

Advice on travelling safely in winter weather in cars or on public transport.

Further information

Drivers

Although we do our best to keep the main thoroughfares clear and ice-free, drivers should always drive carefully and must not assume that all main roads are as safe to use as in normal conditions. In wintry conditions we advise drivers to check the latest local weather forecast before starting out, and when heavy snow is forecast to consider using public transport to avoid the risk of breakdowns and potential accidents which can hinder the work of the gritting lorries and cause congestion.

We try our best to keep the main roads around the city clear of snow and ice. However, we don't treat side roads and these can be very icy. Drivers are urged to take extra care or use public transport instead.

If you have to go out in your vehicles, you should:

  • allow extra time for the journey
  • make sure your vehicle is prepared for driving in winter weather
  • reduce speed in bad weather
  • increase stopping distances
  • avoid sudden acceleration and braking
  • drive slowly through bends
  • use dipped headlights in poor conditions
  • listen to travel bulletins.

Public transport

Main bus routes into and around the city are always gritted. If you are worried about driving, public transport can help you get where you need to go. You can find out more using the 'Public transport in Leicester' quick link above.

Pedestrians

Pedestrians are advised to take extra care as footways are not always gritted. However, during periods of heavy snowfall, when conditions permit, snow is cleared from footways in the city centre shopping area, outlying shopping areas and other heavily used pavements.

If you have to go out on foot we encourage you to wear sensible shoes with plenty of grip. Wearing thick clothing and coats with plenty of padding may also provide a cushioning effect, if you were to slip and fall over.

You should:

  • walk slowly and carefully
  • allow extra time for your journey
  • be aware of approaching vehicles
  • make sure you can be seen at night. 

Clearing snow yourself

You can clear snow and ice from pavements yourself. It’s unlikely that you’ll be sued or held responsible if someone is injured on a path or pavement if you’ve cleared it carefully.

Salt bins for use by the public are sited at 300 locations across the city. We hope to increase this with 250 new bins this winter.

Gritting bins are not for domestic use but we offer the following advice if you wish to clear snow and ice from your own property:

  • do this early in the day - it’s easier to move fresh, loose snow
  • don’t use water - it might refreeze and turn to black ice
  • use salt if possible - it will melt the ice or snow and stop it from refreezing overnight
  • you can use ash and sand if you don’t have enough salt - it will provide grip underfoot
  • pay extra attention when clearing steps and steep pathways - using more salt may help.