Council prepares for winter

Winter on the road to Dunbeg.

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More than 11,000 tonnes of salt will be stockpiled to keep 750 miles of Argyll and Bute’s priority roads clear this winter.

Members of the Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee approved the 2020-2021 Winter Service Policy on Thursday, setting out priorities for treatment and pre-treating routes ahead of winter hazards.

Winter stand-by arrangements will be in place from Friday October 30 running until Friday April 16 next year.

The programme is similar to previous years with the inclusion of additional Covid safety guidelines.

When cold weather hits, the council pre-treats 52 per cent of the road network, which is more than most other local authorities.

There are 31 frontline vehicles ready for action with two spare in case of breakdown. There are another six vehicles, as well as tractors and ‘V’ ploughs, that can be deployed if necessary.

Keeping priority roads clear takes careful planning by a team of people who analyse local weather forecast data so by the end of each day the council knows what it needs to do the following morning.

Councillor Robin Currie, Policy Lead for Housing, Roads and Infrastructure Services, said: ‘Each year, we thank our roads workers who come to work on the icy roads, in the dark, to make sure the rest of us can get to our daily commitments as safely as possible. More than ever this year, we will value the frontline service they provide.

‘Please look out for vulnerable neighbours when conditions underfoot are poor.

‘Throughout winter, we work closely with colleagues in Police Scotland and promote any relevant travel advice through our own council Facebook and Twitter channels. Please pay close attention to travel advice during poor weather conditions and stay safe.’

For more information on the council’s adverse weather plans go to: https://www.argyll-bute.gov.uk/winter-roads

ROSPA also has a useful factsheet on being prepared for winter driving on its website at http://bit.ly/2RjY5pB.

However, in very bad weather, the advice is to avoid driving completely unless you absolutely have to make the journey.