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Source: Scotland – Highland Council

Apply now for winter resilience community aid

Gritting priorities for Highland Council roads and footpaths across the Inverness area this coming winter 2019/20 have been approved by Councillors (Thursday 29 August 2019).

Provost and Leader of Inverness, Councillor Helen Carmichael said: “We have to plan ahead for winter and make sure that our gritting policy is in place and ready for action from the start of the winter season. I realise that for most people they are still in summer-mode, but I urge them to be aware that just because the council has a winter maintenance policy in place that doesn’t mean that we can grit every road in the area. That is why we have approved a list of priority routes for treatment.

“Maybe you’ve recently moved home? Check out the gritting maps for your area, find out if your street is on a priority route and if it’s not, now is the time to apply through your community council for help as the council can provide salt/grit bins, scrapers and reflective waistcoats to allow an enhanced level of service. I urge people to think about this now and to apply as soon as possible before winter arrives.”

City of Inverness Area Committee Members have given the go ahead for a plan which includes approved priority routes and maps. The plan explains that primary routes are treated first, followed by secondary routes and then all ‘other’ routes as resources permit.

Councillors discussed the priorities, timings and resources available for gritting the Inverness area network of 320km (31%) primary routes, 255km (25%) secondary routes and 444km (44%) other routes across all Inverness area wards.

Across the Inverness area there are 17 gritters available and 10 footpath tractors and a team of 45.5 full time equivalent staff involved in delivering winter maintenance. The average annual usage of salt is approximately 10,000 tonnes and there is enough salt in stock or on order to treat the area.

Members noted the professional forecasting service provided to the council that supports managers’ local decision making on delivery of the winter maintenance service. Daily forecasts enable managers to plan road treatments for each evening and the following morning.

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 Inverness Area winter maintenance priority road lists and maps approved are on the council’s website at the following link: https://www.highland.gov.uk/download/meetings/id/75680/item_9_winter_maintenance_plan_20192020

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