Council prepares for winter with a £2.2 million budget
Gritter at Barnacarry Hill near Kilninver

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Council chiefs have approved a £2.2 million winter policy to keep people safe during the cold, dark nights and mornings.

Members of the Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee met online last week to rubberstamp the 2021-22 Winter Service Policy, prioritising how Argyll and Bute’s roads will be treated ahead of winter hazards.

These winter standby arrangements operate from Friday October 29 2021 until Friday  April 15 2022.

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

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

More than 11,000 tonnes of salt will be stockpiled to keep 750 miles of priority routes clear.

And there is a team of people who analyse local weather forecast data so they know by the end of each day what they need to do to make sure the roads are treated appropriately the following morning.

Councillor Rory Colville, policy lead for roads and infrastructure services, said: ‘I know we all value this frontline service.

‘I would like to take this opportunity, as policy lead, to voice my personal appreciation for all the workers who brave the cold, dark evenings and mornings, sometimes in very poor conditions, to make the roads are safer for us all.

‘Please look out for vulnerable neighbours when conditions underfoot are poor and if you can make use of local grit bins, please do.

‘These will be filled up ahead of the winter season. I’d urge you to pay close attention to travel advice during poor weather conditions and stay safe.’

Every winter, the council works closely with colleagues in Police Scotland and promotes any relevant travel advice through its Facebook and Twitter channels. to find out more and for useful facts on getting ready for winter driving you can visit ROSPA’s website.