The Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee has agreed its standard Winter Service Policy, which will keep Argyll and Bute moving throughout the winter of 2019/20.
This is a demand-led service, dependant on the severity of the winter conditions. Council has approved an additional £500,000 to take into account previous overspends and so meet the range of tasks met as part of winter maintenance, including road gritting. The extra funding will also help improve resilience within communities during winter conditions.
Councillor officers have researched how communities in other parts of Scotland are already supporting very local aspects of winter services. The additional funding will help us work together with communities in Argyll and Bute, in getting ready for winter weather events. This could involve providing advice, training or equipment.
The winter service policy sets out routes that will be treated ahead of winter hazards. When cold weather hits, the council pre-treats 52% of the road network, which is more than most other local authorities.
There are 31 frontline vehicles ready for action, and two spare in case of breakdown. We have further six vehicles, as well as tractors and ‘V’ ploughs, that can be deployed if necessary.
Our contract with a new hire supplier means that more than half of our fleet will be less than a year old.
More than 14,000 tonnes of salt will be stockpiled to keep our 750 miles of priority routes syear, none of our council roads were closed over the winter. This takes careful planning by a team of people who analyse local 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 the following morning.
“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.
“Moving forward, we will find ways to develop more local solutions by working with communities. As always, there will grit available in grit bins across the area so people can help 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. 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: http://bit.ly/2R9WkLC
ROSPA has a very useful factsheet on being prepared for winter driving on its website here: http://bit.ly/2RjY5pB. However, in very bad weather, advice is to avoid driving completely unless you absolutely have to make the journey.