Gritter Bike to the rescue as councils ignore cycle lanes in icy weather

gritter bicycle, gritting bike

There’s no statutory requirement for UK councils to grit the cycle network when temperatures plummet and it shows. Every year local authorities fail to grit cycle paths in treacherous icy conditions.

When road gritting machines come out in force, cycle paths are usually neglected on grounds of cost. It’s a missed opportunity because bicycles are a surprisingly effective way of getting about when other modes of transport struggle with sub-zero temperatures.

It’s wrong to assume that bicycles are the worst possible option in snow; a light covering shouldn’t pose any difficulties for the experienced rider.

To highlight the need to keep cycling infrastructure clear whatever the weather, we knocked up the world’s first pedal-powered gritter.

gritting, gritter bicycle,

Our Gritter Bike provides an environmentally friendly, if ridiculous, way to keep cycle paths and lanes passable over the winter

Our pedal-powered design produces no emissions or noise, but only manages a paltry 30 metres before it runs out of grit. Far better for local authorities to do the job properly in the first place.

Protection for you & your bike (whatever the weather)

The ETA was established in 1990 as an ethical provider of green, reliable travel services. Over 30 years on, we continue to offer cycle insurance breakdown cover and mobility scooter insurance while putting concern for the environment at the heart of all we do.

The Good Shopping Guide judges us to be the UK’s most ethical provider.

ETA cycle insurance no-claims discount



  1. Charles Robertson


    That’s a fun article but not entirely true. Dozens of Local Authorities across the UK treat cycle ways over winter, particularly segregated cycle ways.

    Here’s a video of a London Borough from last winter using a Tractor Sprayer and deicing liquid which we supplied:

    • The ETA


      Fair point – would be interesting to know how many of England’s 317 local authorities are as proactive

      • Jen


        They definitely don’t do this in Liverpool! They do the roads and leave the cycle lane, so cyclists have to abandon the cycling infrastructure and take the lane (making drivers angry…..)

  2. Maddie


    We have a Sustrans traffic-free dedicated cycle way in Norwich which is left completely untouched by local authorities in the winter.
    Last year my partner came down heavily on some ice sustaining injuries which kept him off his bike for several months. The kindness of other cyclists was amazing who waited with us till paramedics could reach us on foot. No vehicle access, so Norfolk County Council don’t bother to make it safe.

  3. Tim Earl


    Don’t waste our money on useless stunts like this. Do some proper lobbying that might have an effect.

    • The ETA


      This project isn’t about lobbying. It cost us £250 to build and has put our name in front of many millions – that’s a pretty good return on investment.

Add your comment

Your email address will not be published. Your name and email are required.