In previous winters Doncaster, like much of the UK, suffered from severe bouts of weather which caused disruption and had a dramatic affect on everyday life. To help you better prepare for winter ahead, this page contains some important information, contacts and web links.

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Weather information

  • listen to weather forecasts regularly. HALLAM FM is 103.4FM, BBC Radio Sheffield is 88.6 and 104.1FM as well as on DAB
  • severe weather warnings are also issued by the Met Office and can be found on their website
  • weather details are also provided on the council's Weather Details page

School closures

The decision to close a school will be taken by the head teacher at an individual school. If school closures are happening, you may be notified by text message by your child's school. If you are unsure, please check your school's website or social media before travelling.

Road closures

Details of any roads that have to be closed as a result of the bad weather will be publicised on the council's websiteFacebook, Twitter, HALLAM FM (103.4FM), BBC Radio Sheffield (88.6 and 104.1FM), Greatest Hits Radio (South Yorkshire) Traffic and Travel and Heart Radio Yorkshire web pages.

Driving in severe weather

  • don't travel unless absolutely necessary
  • allow plenty of time for your journey and at least 10 minutes to defrost your car
  • clear all windows of snow and ice using a scraper and de-icer
  • use a cigarette lighter to warm a key for a frozen lock - don't breathe on the lock, as the moisture will condense and freeze
  • make sure your mobile phone is fully charged and carry a torch, first-aid kit, tow rope, blankets, warm coat and boots, jump leads, snow shovel, warning triangle, an old sack or rug (to put under wheels if you do get stuck) as well as water repellent spray
  • put safety before punctuality when bad weather closes in

Gritting and clearing snow

Doncaster Council's highways team is responsible for keeping the major traffic routes in the area clear. Full details of the roads and routes that are gritted can be found on the winter gritting page.

Teams from the council will also assist in clearing snow and access routes within communities if resources are available. You can access these services online by viewing the winter gritting page.

There's no law stopping you from clearing snow and ice on the pavement outside your home or from public spaces.  It's unlikely you'll be sued or held legally responsible for any injuries on the path if you have cleared it carefully.  Follow the snow code when clearing snow and ice.

Neil, one of our Highways Supervisors, talking through how grit works, the council's responsibilities and how residents can help themselves in snow.

Bin collections

Large refuse collection vehicles suffer the same problems as other vehicles on icy roads, making it dangerous for members of the public and our staff to have these vehicles on the road.

During severe winter weather, assessments are made to establish if it's safe for collection and street cleaning crews to carry out their normal duties. If there are no concerns, crews proceed with collection and cleaning duties where possible.

If you require any further information on Bin Collections please visit the following web page: Waste and recycling

Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP)

Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP) is often triggered during winter by St Leger Homes, Doncaster. This means that more emergency beds have been put in place ensuring accommodation will be offered to anyone who would be sleeping rough.

If you are homeless or think that you are going to become homeless you should contact us on 01302 736000, if outside office hours you should contact 01302 737199.

Be bright, be seen

The South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership is urging pedestrians and cyclists to be bright and make themselves visible to other road users during the darker winter nights.

Wearing high visibility clothing (which can be purchased from many retailers) can make it easier for other road users, especially drivers, to see pedestrians and cyclists. High-visibility clothing is made of fluorescent material with added reflective tape or shapes. Fluorescent colours appear to glow, increasing daytime visibility, with the effect being stronger in poor light conditions such as in fog or towards dusk. However, fluorescent colours don't show up in the dark. At night, light from sources such as car headlights bounces off the reflective areas to make the tape glow, increasing night time visibility.

Doncaster's Winter Charter

Look after yourself

  • keep up to date with the weather forecast
  • make a plan in case of bad weather
  • leave the car at home in heavy snow or floods if possible, if not allow more time and plan journeys in advance- remembering to drive to conditions
  • keep warm and well this winter
  • stay safe - care should be taken when using electric blankets or filling hot water bottles. Never use a hot water bottle and an electric blanket together, as this is extremely dangerous and could give you an electric shock. 

Look after each other

  • become a volunteer
  • check up on vulnerable neighbours
  • neighbours may need shopping (tinned fruits, vegetables, soups and dried goods such as rice and pasta will last through the winter months), prescriptions collecting, footpaths clearing, walking the dog or just to see a friendly face
  • make sure neighbours are eating and drinking regular hot food and drinks
  • advise neighbours to wear several layers of thin clothes rather than one layer of thick clothing
  • check neighbours have a means of heating, at least in the room they are using and that
  • any fuel is within safe reach
  • make sure that heating is in good working order and turned on (18 – 21°c) in the room that neighbours spend most of their time in, also keeping curtains and doors closed to retain heat

We will:

  • aim to continue to deliver our priority activities, this may however be at a reduced level in severe weather
  • help to keep Doncaster moving by gritting roads across the borough as shown on our gritting map
  • support those who are identified to us as vulnerable residents in partnership with other organisations
  • provide advice to residents on energy bills and heating their homes
  • update our websites, Facebook and Twitter accounts with information and advice

Unfortunately we cannot:

  • clear snow and ice from all roads and footpaths
  • deliver care to residents who have not already been approved through the usual channels
  • make repairs to the homes of private tenants and homeowners
  • always empty bins when it snows (but we will aim to do so as soon as possible when conditions allow)

More Information

To request council services during a severe winter period (such as snow clearance, gritting, bin collections) please contact Doncaster Council's Customer Services team.

Regular updates will be available on the council's website, Facebook, Twitter and BBC Radio Sheffield (88.6 and 104.1FM)

Useful websites


Last updated: 07 November 2023 10:47:58

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