Gearing up for winter

As the cold weather starts to bite, the council has approved its Winter Service policy for 2018/19 which sets out priorities to keep Argyll and Bute moving until Spring.

The policy prioritises routes that will be treated ahead of winter hazards.

There are 31 frontline vehicles ready for action, and two spare in case of breakdown. We have further seven vehicles can be deployed if necessary. We also have a network of local contractors who can be mobilised in emergencies, as happened earlier in the year when the ‘Beast from the East’ struck.

More than 11,000 tonnes of salt will be stockpiled and a budget of £1.65m has been allocated to keep our 750 miles of priority routes open for business.

Only the trunk roads – A82, A85, A828 and A83 – are the responsibility of BEAR Scotland on behalf of Transport Scotland. The area’s roads network, excluding the trunk routes, runs to nearly 1,430 miles.

Policy Lead for Roads and Amenity Services, Councillor Roddy McCuish, said: “We remain committed to keeping Argyll and Bute moving which is why we have again put in place a robust plan.

 “We analyse weather forecast data so we know by the end of each day what we need to do to make sure the roads are treated appropriately. Our roads workers are out in the freezing cold and the dark making sure the rest of us can get to our daily commitments as safely as possible.

“We will also treat footpaths when there is heavy snow or persistent freezing conditions, and will prioritise busy shopping areas.

“As always, there will grit available in grit bins across the area so people can help their own communities by treating roads in their neighbourhood in periods of severe weather. 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. I would encourage everyone to heed travel advice during poor weather conditions and stay safe.”

For more information on the council’s adverse weather plans go to:

ROSPA has a very useful factsheet on being prepared for winter driving on its website here: However, in very bad weather, advice is to avoid driving completely unless you absolutely have to make the journey.

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