TfL and London boroughs plan ahead to help reduce disruption during wintry weather and keep customers safe

29 January 2019
"We have well-rehearsed procedures in place, in partnership with all London boroughs and the emergency services, to keep the capital moving during any wintry weather"

TfL, London's boroughs and the City of London are again joining forces to develop and implement coordinated plans to help keep London moving during severe winter weather.

TfL will be working hard to keep the rail and strategic road networks open and running during any ice or snow, including major arterial roads and cycle routes, as well as footways around bus and railway stations, hospitals and police, fire and ambulance stations across London.

TfL and London's boroughs have joint salt stores at key locations across the capital, which hold enough grit to keep London's roads and footways open.

Keep London moving

TfL is responsible for the maintenance of all of London's Red Routes, a network of 580km of key roads, and has a fleet of 39 road gritters, all of which are low emission and can be fitted with ploughs, as well as gritting quad-bikes and flatbed trucks to help keep the roads and pavements clear.

TfL and London's boroughs will also work to ensure that cycling routes remain safe, using the dedicated cycle route grit spreaders.

Customers are reminded to check before they travel during any severe cold weather period, and to allow extra journey time where necessary.

They can check before travelling by visiting or following @TfLTravelAlerts, @TfLTrafficNews and @TfLBusAlerts on Twitter.

Transport agencies across London will be working around the clock to help minimise any disruption on the Tube, bus, rail and road networks.

On London Underground de-icing trains will be running overnight, keeping tracks as clear as possible. Well-rehearsed plans also include treating platforms to keep them safe for customers.

Check before you travel

Points heaters will be keeping the Tram network operational during freezing weather and tram platforms and crossings will be gritted.

Out of service trams will be running during the night to keep the overhead electrical lines clear of snow and ice.

On the DLR, heaters are in operation on tracks and teams of staff are gritting station platforms. On London Overground, trains that are fitted with de-icing tanks will be operating across the network to ensure conductor rails are free of ice.

Station surfaces will also be gritted and conductor rail heating has been installed at key parts of the network.

Glynn Barton, Director of Network Management at TfL, said: 'We have well-rehearsed procedures in place, in partnership with all London boroughs and the emergency services, to keep the capital moving during any wintry weather.

'We will be working around the clock to help keep the rail and strategic road networks up and running, as well as ensuring that footways and cycling routes remain safe. We encourage customers to check before they travel during cold and icy weather, using our website or our Twitter feeds.'

Working around the clock

Cllr Julian Bell, Chair of London Councils' Transport and Environment Committee, said: 'London boroughs will work to ensure that the capital is able to keep moving as smoothly and as safely as possible during bouts of icy and snowy weather conditions.

'London boroughs are responsible for 95 per cent of the capital's roads and are working with TfL and other partners around the clock to keep key routes open as normal.

'London boroughs will be implementing carefully prepared plans to minimise disruption and working with local communities to keep roads and pavements clear of snow and ice.

'Please take care when travelling in adverse conditions and check the latest travel advice and information on what is happening in your area.'

TfL plays a vital role in keeping London moving and is focused on reducing disruption and protecting road users, staff and contractors whatever the weather.

Notes to editors

  • TfL, the 32 boroughs and City of London share grit to use between them. Priority routes for gritting are published on borough websites and include main roads, bus routes and roads leading to fire stations and hospitals. Many boroughs will also be gritting pavements in busy areas to help pedestrians and support local businesses
  • The winter operations plan agreed by TfL and its partner agencies also means that the Santander Cycles scheme will remain operational through all weather conditions. Additional detailed plans are also in place to ensure Dial-a-Ride, London River Services and Victoria Coach Station are not significantly disrupted during severe winter weather. The Emirates Air Line is designed to operate throughout the year in most weather conditions. However as with any mode of transport there are operational limitations and cable cars are not designed to operate during very strong gusts of wind or when there is a threat of lightning in the immediate area
  • Londoners can also report any road defects at the TfL website via or call TfL on 0343 222 1234, who can redirect enquiries to the relevant local authority if necessary
  • Latest weather forecasts can be found at