Katesgrove’s one and only grit bin is on the junction of Alpine Street and Elgar Road.

The bin appears every winter, but what makes Alpine Street so special is that it meets at least one condition on a list of grit bin criteria. These criteria include steepness, close proximity to and falling towards a heavily trafficked main road, severe bends (not including junctions), and number of premises for which the road is the only access.

Fascinating facts about how gritting and snow clearance decisions are made are all available in the council’s annual winter service plan.

The plan also says which local roads are primary gritting routes:

  • Basingstoke Road
  • Christchurch Gardens
  • Christchurch Road
  • London Street
  • Mount Pleasant
  • Northumberland Avenue
  • Silver Street
  • Southampton Street
  • Whitley Street.

Clearing these routes makes sure than number 5 and 6 buses can still get through.

Secondary gritting routes include:

  • Alpine Street
  • Corbridge Road
  • Elgar Road
  • Hexham Road
  • Newcastle Road.

Clearing Newcastle, Corbridge and Hexham Roads makes sure that the number 5 bus can make the loop off Northumberland Avenue through the Hexham Road estate. Alpine Street is obviously a winter VIP because most other residential streets are not gritted.

The plan also includes priorities for snow clearance:

  • first : A33, A329 (including IDR),
  • second: A4, A4074, A4155, A327 (Southampton Street, London Street, Mount Pleasant, Silver Street and Whitley Street), B3270, B480, B3031 (Basingstoke Road),
  • third: all other remaining roads.

  1. Reading Borough Council gritting routes and location of salt bins
  2. Reading Borough Council Winter Service Plan 2016-17
  3. Traffic Management Sub-committee 3 November 2016 – papers