Council working with partners to maintain Highland roads

Highland Council has highlighted its successful joint working with BEAR Scotland and Transport Scotland.

The Council’s Head of Roads and Transport Richard Evans, BEAR Scotland’s Operating Company Representative for the North West Eddie Ross and Transport Scotland’s Acting National Network Manager Jonny Moran delivered a joint presentation at last week’s Community Services Committee meeting.

During the presentation, Jonny Moran of Transport Scotland described Highland’s approach to collaborative working as the “best he had seen across Scotland.”

In Highland, trunk roads such as the A9 and A82 are maintained by BEAR Scotland on behalf of Transport Scotland. Highland Council maintains the local network of “adopted roads”.

More than 3,000 miles of unnecessary travel for Highland Council vehicles has been saved through an arrangement with BEAR Scotland, who grit small, isolated stretches of local road leading off main trunk routes.

Highland Council and BEAR Scotland have also worked together to:

  • Share depots at Kingussie, Ardelve and Golspie
  • Ensure that the Council’s litter picking duties are completed before BEAR Scotland carry out grass cutting

There are also proposals to trial pre-wetted salt; a mixture of salt and brine as a treatment for roads during wintry conditions. It is thought that this could use less salt and be more efficient than current methods.

The groups are hoping to work together in the future in areas such as street lamp maintenance, the roll out of LED lighting and road marking.

The Council is also working with neighbouring local authorities through its Roads Innovation Fund and the national Roads Collaboration project. Thus far this has resulted in the borrowing and possible future sharing of specialist equipment.

Chair of the Council’s Community Services Committee Councillor Allan Henderson said: “The Council is committed to working with our partners to achieve the most efficient services possible.

“I am encouraged by our Roads and Transport team’s excellent relationship with partner organisations and I eagerly await future developments in this area.”

Head of Roads and Transport Richard Evans said: “A common sense approach to partnership working has already saved time and resources for our service in a difficult financial climate.

“We will continue to work with both BEAR Scotland and Transport Scotland, as well as neighbouring Councils and our own communities to ensure that we deliver the best outcome possible.”

12 Nov 2015
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