The Highland Council is advising motorists to be prepared for further possible wintry conditions on roads throughout the Highlands.
The weather forecast over the next 24 hours and particularly overnight (Wed 3rd /Thurs 4th Dec) indicates that there will be a high probability of falling snow and low temperatures leading to difficult conditions on all roads.
In excess of £5million per year is spent by The Highland Council on winter roads maintenance. The Council deploys 120 gritters, 58 footpath tractors, and 50,000 tonnes of salt per year on a 6,700km road network throughout the Highlands which is the largest road network in Scotland.
The Highland Council is not responsible for the maintenance of trunk roads such as the A9, A96, A82, A87, A835, these and other trunk routes, are the responsibility of the management agents (BEAR and Scotland Transerv) who work on behalf of the Scottish Government.
Councillor John Laing, Chairman of The Highland Council’s TEC Services Committee said: “All our available manpower and resources are being applied in anticipation of the severe weather warning. However, l urge people in the Highlands to understand that all our resources cannot possibly cover all roads at the same time and to be aware of your local weather conditions.
Northern Constabulary’s, Head of Road Policing, Inspector John Smith reminds drivers of the importance of driving according to the road conditions: "If all drivers drove appropriately to the road conditions, made simple vehicle checks for the winter, drove within speed limits, wore their seatbelts and didn't use a mobile phone, there would be significantly fewer collisions on the roads, less injuries and less fatalities. With the low temperatures and icy conditions we are experiencing at the moment, I would urge all motorists to take extra care when driving and to be mindful of conditions and of how their actions can affect their driving ability."
The Highland Council has a winter maintenance policy that it applies with four categories of routes being gritted in order of importance. This policy is readily available on the Council’s website www.highland.gov.uk under “winter watch” see ‘gritting’.
The Council endeavours to treat the main routes first within available resources, however, when weather conditions are particularly severe there may be some delay in reaching the minor priority routes.