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Source: Scotland – Highland Council

Badenoch and Strathspey Councillors have set their priorities for how The Highland Council will grit roads within the area this winter at a meeting of the Badenoch and Strathspey Area Committee held in Grantown on Spey today (Monday 19 August 2018).

Members have approved a winter maintenance plan for the area which includes a road map of prioritised gritting routes. The area plan has been amended to include the equalisation of weekend winter maintenance as agreed at the Council’s Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee on the 16 August 2018.

The Committee discussed the priorities of gritting a network of 99km primary routes (25%), 76km secondary routes (20%) and 215km other routes (55%) in the Badenoch and Strathspey area.

Primary routes are treated first, followed by secondary routes and crews will only move on to treat other roads when the primary and secondary routes are all completed as resources permit.

Chair of the Badenoch and Strathspey Area Committee, Cllr Bill Lobban said: “We will monitor the agreed plan throughout winter to make sure we respond to changes in weather using our existing resources to best effect. As all our roads are over 150 metres above sea level, our winter maintenance priorities are vital to ensure that our vulnerability to ice and frost on higher routes is minimised and that we can keep our area moving as best we can within existing resources.”

He added: “We encourage our local communities to apply for self-help through the “Winter Resilience” scheme where the Council can provide salt bins, scrapers and reflective waistcoats. While this does not replace Council services it allows communities to be more resilient in their own local areas.”

Badenoch and Strathspey Area employs 11 staff delivering winter maintenance supported by Amenity, Streets and Waste staff. Five gritters and 4 footpath tractors are deployed to spread on average 5,500 tonnes of salt each year in Badenoch and Strathspey Area.

Members noted the arrangements in the policy for the provision of grit/salt bins which are generally placed at steep locations where there is no regular road or footway gritting service.

Members welcomed that a framework contract is in place with local contractors to aid in clearing deep snow at short notice in exceptional weather conditions. The mobilisation of manual staff across Community Services to assist with gritting in severe conditions (according to weather forecasts or freezing rain) was also welcomed. Community Payback Service is also available to help with footpath treatments.

Details of the Badenoch and Strathspey Area winter maintenance approved by Councillors can be found on the council’s website at: https://www.highland.gov.uk/download/meetings/id/75612/item_7_winter_maintenance_plan_201920

Applications for the Winter Resilience scheme can be made at:

https://www.highland.gov.uk/downloads/download/836/winter_resilience_community_aid

MIL OSI United Kingdom