​Inverness winter roads plan approved

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

Highland Council’s priorities for gritting roads within the Inverness area this winter have been approved by Members at a meeting of the City of Inverness Area Committee held on Thursday 1 December 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. Members also noted that 10% of the council’s gritter fleet could start one hour earlier at 5am in advance of commuter traffic, school and service buses on a discretionary basis for specific hazards such as heavy ice and snow and that this would equate to 1 route in each local committee area.

Provost of Inverness and Area Cllr Helen Carmichael said: “It’s important that everyone is ready for winter, whether they drive, cycle or walk and to know the gritting priority routes for their area. We have a local gritting policy for Inverness Area that complies with Council policy and people need to know where the travel routes that they use - sit within the local policy. 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.”

Primary routes (330km, 31%) are treated first followed by secondary routes (287km 27%) and crews will treat other roads (455km, 42%) as resources permit and primary and secondary route treatments are completed. The policy and gritting route priorities map for Inverness Area approved by members today can be viewed on the council’s website at: http://www.highland.gov.uk/download/meetings/id/71270/item_10_winter_maintenance_plan_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.

Forty Four council staff are involved in the provision of a winter maintenance service in the Inverness area including: 1 Senior Engineer, 1 Principal and 2 Senior Technicians, 2 Roads Inspectors, 2 Community Works Officer, 1 Operational Support Officer, 2 Forepersons and 33 Operatives. The staff have 17 gritters and 10 footpath tractors to deliver the service.

The average amount of salt used in Inverness Area each year is 10,000 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

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1 Dec 2016
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