Gritting services protected in Highland
With the recent drop in temperatures, The Highland Council’s winter gritting service has started in earnest and the winter fleet has been mobilised.
Highland Council’s gritting fleet includes 105 gritters, 42 footpath tractors and over 200 staff providing winter maintenance services.
Trunk roads in Highland are the responsibility of Transport Scotland and their operators Bear Scotland.
The council has adequate salt stocks for the winter season and that there are no concerns about future provision of deliveries from the council’s supplier.
The total salt usage for last winter 2016/17 was 37,200 tonnes, which was around 28% (£1.12m) of the overall cost of the service last year.
Staff involved in winter services provision at area level are trained in using the Council’s weather forecasting service. The forecasts are used each year to assist local decision-making on daily and longer term winter services actions.
Chair of the Council’s Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee, Cllr Allan Henderson said: “We have the supplies and resources in place to provide a winter service this year in the Highlands according to the Council’s policy. Council roads and pavements are gritted as specified within the council’s agreed winter maintenance policy – details of this are on the council’s website at www.highland.gov.uk/gritting where Area gritting maps can also be found.
“The Council will continue to do what it can within its resources and policy however, I would encourage communities to come forward and apply for winter resilience assistance from the Council that will provide them with salt in grit bins or heaps and other equipment to take action in their local areas that are important to them.”
Within its winter roads maintenance budget of £4.98 million for 2017/18, the Council is ready to salt - according to its policy – the 6,744km of roads for which the Council has responsibility.
Area Winter Maintenance Plans are set by Area Committees within Council strategy and budget allocated by the Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee.