Ross and Cromarty gritting routes for winter confirmed
The priorities with which The Highland Council will grit roads in Ross and Cromarty this winter have been approved by Councillors.
Twenty four gritters and 10 footpath tractors are on standby to treat a road network of 524km primary routes (32%), 536km of secondary routes (32%) and 591km of other routes (36%) in the area.
Primary routes are treated first, followed by secondary routes and crews will only move on to treat other roads when the primary and secondary routes are all completed. Forty eight members of staff will be involved in delivering the service.
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.
During the Ross and Cromarty Committee held in Dingwall today (Tuesday 31 October) members were advised that, as in previous years, over the winter a Duty Officer rota will be in place to ensure that 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 prevailing weather conditions.
The average annual usage of salt across Ross and Cromarty over the winter months is approximately 15,000 tonnes. The Council has confirmed it has in the region of 60,000 tonnes in stock and there are no concerns about any future deliveries from the council’s supplier.
Chair of the Committee, Councillor Fiona Robertson said: “The message is that we are ready for winter and along with our Trunk Road partners we will do all the best that we can to keep people on the roads.
“Across Ross and Cromarty we have access to real time data from 17 icelert sites and these sensors provide information on the road surface temperature, surface condition and the presence of salt. This information allows our staff to react to local conditions and throughout the coming winter we will monitor the agreed plan to make sure we cover any changes in weather using our existing resources to best effect.
She added: ”Staff who will be delivering the service this winter are well trained and each year work hard to ensure we can travel around on the road network safely. However, we all have a duty to take responsibility for our own personal safety which is why I encourage drivers to be aware of our gritting policy as it is simply not possible to treat every road at the same time. We all need to be well prepared before driving in winter weather and drive according to conditions.”
Details of the Ross and Cromarty priority routes and winter services information can be found by visiting the council’s website at: http://www.highland.gov.uk/gritting