Councillors urge Lochaber communities to apply now for winter resilience community aid

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Gritting priorities for Highland Council roads and footpaths across the Lochaber area this coming winter 2020/21 were approved by councillors on Monday.

Lochaber Area Committee councillors gave the go ahead for a winter maintenance plan which replicates the 2019/20 plan and includes approved priority routes and maps.

The plan explains that primary routes are treated first, followed by secondary routes and then all ‘other’ routes as resources permit.

Members issued a plea to local communities to apply now through their community councils for help as Highland Council can provide salt/grit bins, scrapers and reflective waistcoats to allow volunteers to provide an enhanced level of service where local need and demand is identified.

A professional weather forecasting service is provided to the council that supports managers’ local decision making on delivery of the winter maintenance service. Daily forecasts enable managers to plan road treatments for each evening and the following morning.

Arrangements are made in the policy for the provision of grit/salt bins which are generally placed at steep locations where there is no regular road or footway gritting service.

A framework contract is in place with local contractors to aid in clearing deep snow at short notice in exceptional weather conditions.

Council staff can be mobilised to assist with gritting in severe conditions (according to weather forecasts or freezing rain) and the Community Payback Service is also available to help with footpath treatments.