Get Ready for Winter

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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Check out our staying safe and well this winter booklet also available in easy read format to download below:

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EASY read winter booklet 2021
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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

You can find a list of school closures as a result of bad weather on the HALLAM FM website.

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) and Greatest Hits Radio (South Yorkshire) Traffic and Travel web page.

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.

Please contact Doncaster Council's Customer Services team on 01302 736000 if you wish to discuss any issue with Bin Collections or visit the following web page: Waste and recycling

Stay warm in your home

Keeping the heating on in winter is really important for keeping warm and well. Sitting and sleeping in cold rooms can cause existing medical conditions to get much worse and increase risk of heart attacks, strokes, and other life threatening illnesses.

To keep warm and well in winter, heat  your home to at least 18°C. Wear lots of thinner layers, which will keep you warmer than one thick layer. Try not to sit still for more than an hour - take regular breaks to make a hot drink and move around a bit. 

Make sure your house is well insulated to keep heating costs down. The Energy Team can provide information on insulation grants and other energy efficiency schemes.

In Autumn, remember to have your boiler serviced to ensure that it will run safely and efficiently all through winter. Have a heating engineers number to hand in case your boiler has any problems in winter.

St Leger Homes have some heating hints which can often get your boiler working again; ensure you have a warm home; and prevent any burst water pipes.

Health and Wellbeing


For information, advice and guidance please visit: 

  • Advice and Support for the Clinically Extremely Vulnerable: here you will find advice, support and frequently asked questions for those who have been identified as Clinically Extremely Vulnerable to Coronavirus.
  • Vaccinations: Find the latest information on vaccinations and local pop-ups.
  • Testing: For information on symptomatic and asymptomatic testing as well as where our Agile Testing Unit will be this week.
  • Self-Isolation: find support and information if you have been told to isolate either because you have tested positive or have symptoms, you can on Doncaster Council’s dedicated 

Dress warmly, stay healthy and be a good neighbour:

  • in severe bouts of cold and icy weather avoid going out unless you have to. If you do ensure that you wrap up warm
  • wear plenty of thin layers, rather than one thick one
  • put on a coat, hat, scarf, gloves and warm shoes or boots when you go outside
  • get a seasonal Flu Jab. You may be able to get a free jab from your GP to protect against seasonal flu if you are over 65, have a long term health condition or are pregnant - Frontline staff should also be offered one by their employer
  • if you should become unwell or injured over winter then there is advice to help you choose the right NHS service 
  • eat regular meals to keep up your energy levels. Have plenty of hot food and drink and aim to have five portions of fruit and vegetables daily
  • if you have an older neighbour, relative or friend, look out for them during the winter period. They may not be able to get out of their home and perhaps need shopping and prescriptions collecting  

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 323444.

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 on 01302 736000.

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: 24 November 2021 13:50:58