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Highland Council activates winter gritting programme with warning Covid could hit coverage

By Neil MacPhail

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A wintry scene as gritter works near Inverness.
A wintry scene as gritter works near Inverness.

AS winter weather looms, Highland Council has activated its winter gritting programme from now until April 14 next year.

As in previous years, the council is offering assistance to communities that wish to take action in their own area to help clear snow and ice from footpaths.

The local authority will provide salt in either bins or heaps, snow shovels and pushers, gloves and hi-vis vests and health and safety advice to volunteers.

If there is a need for a new grit bin in an area, do not wait until it snows or gets icy but apply now, urges the council. An application form is on the council’s website.

The council has 105 gritters, 42 footpath tractors, one snowblower and more than 200 staff at its disposal to tackle freezing conditions.

Trunk Roads such as the A9, A96, A82, and A87, among others, are maintained by Bear Scotland.

The gritting service begins at 6am each day, as and when

There is a Monday to Friday service in which all roads are treated and a weekend service which includes treatment of all the primary routes, strategic secondary routes and difficult ‘other’ routes.

The service is provided within council resources available and as weather conditions permit.

Details of the gritting policy and maps are on the council’s website at www.highland.gov.uk/gritting

The council has warned that Covid-19 continues to present significant challenges, and motorists and members of the public should recognise that if an outbreak occurs in one of its depots, the level of service might be affected if drivers have to self-isolate.

In this event, drivers will be replaced where possible by other qualified council drivers. This could have a knock-on effect on other services such as waste and amenities and cause delays in gritting.

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