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Council calls for Highland communities to ask for support to help local roads be winter-ready

By Federica Stefani

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Highland Council is preparing for winter road treatment ahead of the cold season. Picture: DGS.
Highland Council is preparing for winter road treatment ahead of the cold season. Picture: DGS.

Residents across the Highlands are being encouraged to get in touch with the council's resilience team to help local communities be ready for winter.

The Highland Council’s winter maintenance programme starts on next week (Monday, October 14) with more than 6,700km of roads set to be treated.

Chair of the council’s environment, development and infrastructure committee, Ken Gowans, said: “When it comes to winter gritting, we are grateful for the great support we received last year from most members of the public who showed great awareness and understanding that when the snow comes, it comes all at once and services are always stretched at these times.


Councillor Ken Gowans. Picture: James Mackenzie.
Councillor Ken Gowans. Picture: James Mackenzie.

“We will continue to do what it can within our resources and policy however, I would encourage communities to come forward and apply for winter resilience assistance from the Council that will provide them with salt in grit bins or heaps and other equipment to take action in their local areas."

“We have the supplies and resources in place to provide a winter service according to the Council’s policy," he added.

"Council roads and pavements are gritted as specified within the council’s agreed winter maintenance policy. Details of the council’s highland wide and local area gritting policies and maps are on the council’s website at www.highland.gov.uk/gritting

“Service levels throughout the local areas will remain, essentially, unchanged from last year. When required, and when weather conditions allow, operations, Monday to Saturday, start at 6am and continue until 9pm. There is no overnight service. On Sundays and days classed as public holidays a restricted service is provided which starts at 7am."

Community groups, volunteer groups and individuals who require further information or are wanting to access the winter resilience programme can contact their area roads office by email or find more details are on the council’s website.

The winter fleet includes 105 gritters, 42 footpath tractors and over 200 staff providing winter maintenance services.

Trunk roads in the Highland region are the responsibility of Transport Scotland and their operators Bear Scotland.

The council has confirmed it has "adequate salt stocks "for the region of 34,000 tonnes for the start of the main winter season and said that there are "no concerns" about future provision of deliveries from the council’s supplier.

Mr Gowans added: “Salting will not prevent roads from icing up in extreme conditions. This is particularly relevant on low traffic roads where there are insufficient vehicle movements to aid the interaction between the salt and the ice crystals so we urge drivers to be extra careful driving in these conditions.”

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