Highland Council asks are you ready for winter?


The unseasonably good weather of late has not put The Highland Council off their preparations for snow and frost as they ask people in the Highlands – ‘Are you ready for winter?’

The Highland Council is supporting the Scottish Government’s Ready Scotland campaign at www.readyscotland.org and urges people in the Highlands to take some time to get ready for winter and all kinds of severe weather.

Councillor Allan Henderson, Highland Council’s Chair of Community Services Committee, said: “It’s been a mild autumn so far and frosty days seem a far off prospect but we all know that conditions can change in the Highlands rapidly. We want people to think ahead and be prepared for a change in the temperature and all types of severe weather. Are you ready at home and while travelling for potential hard frosts and snow and do you know how to find out if your school is closed?”

Within its winter roads maintenance budget of £5.22 million for 2015/16, the Council is ready to salt - according to its policy – the 6,744km of roads for which the Council has responsibility. Trunk roads in Highland are the responsibility of Transport Scotland and their operators Bear Scotland.

Highland Council’s road salt stocks are currently at 55,000 tonnes. This equates to more than 14 days of extreme conditions or 53 days restricted use. Another 5,000 tonnes of salt are on order and due for delivery by 1 November. Arrangements are in place to re-stock during the winter if the rate of use is high. The Council’s suppliers have adequate reserves for this to happen and no shortage is anticipated.

The Council has 105 gritters and 48 footpath tractors and 1 snow cutter with 215 staff providing winter maintenance services. This includes an investment of £2.2m this year on 25 new vehicles for the coming winter.

Roads are gritted according to policy and priority. 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.

Grit/salt bins on council roads have a telephone number displayed on them to allow the public to request a refill. The Council’s Winter Maintenance Policy and existing local area gritting maps are on the council’s website at www.highland.gov.uk/gritting.

To find out if Highland schools are closed check the Council’s website www.highland.gov.uk/schoolclosures or call the school information line on 0800 564 2272 and dial in your local school PIN number to get the latest pre-recorded message from the head teacher. The list of school PIN numbers is on the council’s website at www.highland.gov.uk/schoolclosures. Make sure you have the phone number and PIN number ready in a handy place now.

1 Oct 2015
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