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It is the aim of Highland Council to provide a winter maintenance service which permits reasonably safe movement of vehicular and pedestrian traffic appropriate to the prevailing weather conditions and within the resources available.
The Council is NOT responsible for winter maintenance on unadopted roads. It will however make every effort to provide assistance for emergency and medical services during severe weather conditions where there is an urgent need for safe access.
Under normal circumstances our winter service will start on the 1st October and continue through to 30th April. During that period we will continually monitor road and weather conditions across our road network. In addition to daily forecasts from the Meteo Group we also gather local real time weather conditions from an array of 60 ice detection sensors (ICELERT).
The Council maintains a fleet of 114 gritters, 48 pavement gritters and 3 snowblowers. Over a typical winter around 60,000 tonnes of salt will be spread on the road.
The cost of providing this service reflects the fact that we have to treat the longest local road network of any Council in Scotland. Although expenditure varies according to the severity of the winter we would expect to spend in the region of £4.7 million annually.