2017/18 Winter maintenance plan confirmed for Inverness
The priorities with which The Highland Council will grit roads across the Inverness area this winter have been approved by Councillors today (Thursday 14 September 2017).
The City of Inverness Area Committee members have approved a winter maintenance plan for the area which includes priority road lists and maps showing the priority gritting routes.
The Committee discussed the priorities of gritting a network of 320km primary routes 255km secondary routes and 444km other routes across all Inverness area wards.
Primary routes are gritted Mondays to Saturdays 6am to 9pm and on Sundays and public holidays from 7am to 9pm. Secondary routes will follow the completion of Primary routes and are gritted Mondays to Saturdays from 6am to 6pm within available resources. ‘Other’ routes are treated as resources permit. In extreme conditions all efforts will be made to keep Primary routes clear.
The routes have been set within the context of the Council’s current Winter Maintenance Policy which is in place to ensure a consistent level of service is applied across all areas of the Highlands. Each year local areas put in place their Winter Maintenance Plan to cover the operational details in order to deliver a service locally within existing budget and resources.
Inverness Area operates a round the clock rota during the winter months to ensure there is always a qualified and experienced member of staff available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to take decisions on the deployment of appropriate resources to deal with the weather conditions.
Across the Inverness area there are 17 front-line gritters available and 10 footpath tractors and a team of 44 staff are involved in delivering winter maintenance. The average annual usage of salt is approximately 10,000 tonnes.
Staff have access to real time data from icelert sites and these sensors provide information on the road surface temperature, surface condition and the presence of salt. This information allows staff to react to local conditions.
Provost and Leader of Inverness and Area, Councillor Helen Carmichael said: “Staff work extremely hard each year to provide the best possible service. The gritting priority routes agreed today will allow this work to be carried out to a set schedule which helps when it comes to people making local travel arrangements during spells of bad weather. Throughout the coming winter we will monitor the agreed plan to make sure we cover any changes in weather and use all the resources available to us to best effect.”