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Council prepares for worst of the winter weather

Posted on 12 Oct 2017

Snowploughs have been out in force across North Ayrshire – without even a hint of snow in the air.

North Ayrshire Council undertook its annual ‘dry run’ to ensure their fleet of snow clearing and gritting vehicles are well prepared in advance of the winter weather.

The test run enables staff to check out equipment and vehicles as well as familiarise themselves with routes.

A squad of 37 drivers and 17 multi-purpose vehicles will be available 24/7 to keep the area’s priority routes in use throughout winter.  These round-the-clock measures will be in place from late October right through to mid-April.

The Council will also be on-call over weekends and public holidays from November to February to help treat main footways in the event of ice and frost.  Arrangements are also in place with the Community Justice Service, local contractors and farmers to call upon their assistance in case of severe weather conditions.

Some 8,500 tonnes of road salt is stocked at the Council’s mainland storage depot in Kilwinning, with a further 1,600 tonne stockpile being kept at their depot at Brodick in Arran.

Salt is also stored at strategic points throughout the area for use by residents.  There are approximately 450 grit bins and 12 larger community bins from which residents can collect salt for personal use on roads, driveways or footpaths.

Weather forecasts are relayed three times a day – morning, noon and night – to the roads team who use the information to determine whether or not a snow or ice alert is issued.

The weather stations on the A760 at Catburn, between Largs and Kilbirnie, and the String Road on Arran are fitted with cameras, which will assist our Winter Controllers and Supervisors in monitoring weather conditions.

Councillor Jim Montgomerie, Cabinet Member for Place, said: “We were quite fortunate that we enjoyed a mild winter last year but we have to be prepared for the every eventuality.

“That’s why exercises such as this are invaluable in ensuring we are well positioned to deal with the worst of the winter weather if and when it arrives.

“We take our responsibility as Roads Authority very seriously and put in an enormous amount of effort to ensure that priority roads and footways are kept clear and safe during winter.

“Having met the team and heard about the robust plans, I’m confident that we’re well prepared.”

Visit https://www.north-ayrshire.gov.uk/roads-and-travel/winter-gritting.aspx for a whole host of information including updates on gritting decisions, where to find your nearest grit bin and advice on clearing snow and ice from public footways.

Scotland Transerv is responsible for any issues on the trunk roads in North Ayrshire (A78, A737 and A738).  Scotland Transerv can be contacted on 0141 218 3800 or www.scotlandtranserv.co.uk/contact