Keeping people safe during the cold, dark winter nights and mornings starts with preparation in early autumn and a budget of more than £2.2m.
Members of the Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee, on Thursday 2 September, approved the 2021-22 Winter Service Policy, which prioritises how Argyll and Bute’s roads will be treated ahead of winter hazards.
These winter stand-by arrangements operate from Friday 29 October 2021 until Friday 15 April 2022.
When cold weather hits, the council pre-treats 52% 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. We have 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 our 750 miles of priority routes clear.
We have 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.
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 our Facebook and Twitter channels.
For more information on the council’s adverse weather plans go to: https://www.argyll-bute.gov.uk/winter-roads
ROSPA has a 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.