Badenoch and Strathspey winter roads plan approved

Motorists, cyclists and pedestrians are urged to be aware of council gritting plans in their area for the winter.

Highland Council’s priorities for gritting roads within the Badenoch and Strathspey area this winter have been approved by Members at a meeting of the Badenoch and Strathspey Area Committee held on Wednesday 16 November 2016.

Members have noted the Council’s Winter Services Policy which was reviewed by the Community Services Committee on 28 April 2016 and benchmarked against other Scottish local authorities.

Councillor Bill Lobban, Chairman of the Badenoch and Strathspey Area Committee said: “We have worked hard to ensure that the Council’s Winter Services Policy is as responsive as it can be to local needs and circumstances within the given amount of resources available to us.

“I urge everyone, however to be ready for winter, whether they drive a vehicle, cycle or walk and to know the gritting priority routes for our area. People in Badenoch and Strathspey are not surprised when it snows but we need to be prepared and know when and where Highland Council gritters will be on our roads. Gritters can’t be everywhere at once, but wherever possible they will be keeping our roads and pavements clear in accordance with our local policy.”

Badenoch and Strathspey area has its own Winter Maintenance Plan which sets out operational details to deliver a service and comply with council policy.

Primary routes (99km, 25%) are treated first followed by secondary routes (76km 20%) and crews will treat other roads (215km, 55%) as resources permit and primary and secondary route treatments are completed. The policy and gritting route priorities map for Badenoch and Strathspey approved by members today can be viewed on the council’s website at: http://www.highland.gov.uk/download/meetings/id/71187/item_9_roads_winter_maintenance_plan_for_201617

Members were informed about the council’s weather forecast provider (Meteo Group Ltd) that provides daily and 5 day weather forecasts which support local winter maintenance decision making.

Ten council staff are involved in the provision of a winter maintenance service in the area including 1 Community Works Officer, 1 Foreperson and 9 Operatives with support from local Amenity / Streets and Waste Operatives. The staff have 5 gritters and 4 footpath tractors to deliver the service and snow cutter head for attaching to a tractor has been ordered to assist clearing deep or drifted snow.

The average amount of salt used in Badenoch and Strathspey each year is 5,500 tonnes and the authority has around 60,000 tonnes in stock throughout Highland and has no concerns about salt supplies.

The public are reminded that they can apply for grit bins and community self-help through the Council’s ‘Winter Resilience Aid’ programme, details of which are on the council’s website at: http://www.highland.gov.uk/downloads/download/836/winter_resilience_community_aid

17 Nov 2016
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