Winter maintenance plan approved for Inverness

Gritting priorities for Highland Council roads and footpaths across the Inverness area this winter 2018/19 have been approved by Councillors today (Thursday 30 August 2018).

City of Inverness Area Committee members have given the green light to a plan which includes road lists and maps prioritising gritting routes. It explains that primary routes are treated first, followed by secondary routes and then all ‘other’ routes as resources permit.

The plan includes an alteration to weekend services as set within the Council’s current Winter Maintenance Policy which was recently approved at the 16 August, Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee with a small number of ‘difficult other’ routes to be agreed at Ward level.

The Council’s policy 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.

Councillors discussed the priorities of gritting the Inverness area network of 320km (31%) primary routes, 255km (25%) secondary routes and 444km (44%) other routes across all Inverness area wards.

Members approved the amendments to the timings of road and footway gritting including:

  • Earlier starts on Monday to Friday road operations beginning at 0600hrs and treat the full network when required. Treatment after 1800hrs being generally restricted to Primary Routes only. 
  • Equalisation of Saturday and Sunday road operations beginning at 0600hrs and treat Primary, Strategic Secondary and difficult Other Routes. Treatment after 1800hrs being generally restricted to Primary Routes only. 
  • Monday to Friday footway operations begin at 0600hrs with footways treated on a priority basis as resources permit. 
  • Saturday and Sunday footway operations begin at 0600hrs on Primary and Strategic Secondary footways as resources permit. 

Across the Inverness area there are 17 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.

Provost and Leader of Inverness, Councillor Helen Carmichael said: “While Staff work extremely hard to provide the best possible winter service the Council has limited resources and cannot grit every road in the area. That is why we have approved a list of priority routes for treatment. 

“If your street or neighbourhood is not on the gritting map, you can apply through your community council for help and the council will provide salt/grit bins, scrapers and reflective waistcoats to allow and enhanced level of service. I urge people to think about this now and to apply as soon as possible before winter is upon us."

She added: “We welcome the assurance given by the Director of Community Services at the recent Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee that a formal escalation procedure will be adopted when severe conditions are forecast or experienced. Footpaths in Inverness were affected severely last winter with freezing conditions and we hope that the assurance given of immediate mobilisation of all available manual staff across Community Services to assist will prevent this re-occurring.”

Details of the Inverness Area priority routes and winter services information will be published on the council’s website at: http://www.highland.gov.uk/gritting.

30 Aug 2018
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