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Launch of Ready for Winter Campaign

20th October 2013

The Highland Council is fully supporting the Scottish Government’s Ready for Winter Campaign which was launched today (Monday 21st October 2013).

The national campaign focuses on being prepared in the community; at home; on the move and in the workplace and encourages people to use the “extra hour”, when the clocks go back at the weekend to “Take an Hour” to make themselves better prepared.

For its part, the Council has increased its winter maintenance budget to £5.6 million per year and is introducing an improved service this winter. It has 45,500 tonnes of salt in storage in in readiness for winter.

Councillor Graham Phillips, Chair, The Highland Council’s Transport Environment and Community Services Committee, said: “We are encouraging individuals, families, businesses and communities across the Highlands to think ahead and be prepared for winter and all kinds of severe weather.

“The 2013 Ready for Winter campaign is designed to encourage each of us to think about how we could be affected, to put in place simple plans and take some straight-forward action that all together will help us be more prepared should we experience extreme or prolonged winter weather, or severe weather at other times.”

The Highland Council is responsible for 4,200 miles (6,700km) of roads. The Council's winter roads maintenance budget for 2013/14 is £5.6 million.

As at 21 September road salt stocks are at 45,500 tonnes. This equates to 13 days of extreme conditions or 48 days restricted use. Arrangements are in place to re-stock during the winter if the rate of use is high. Our suppliers have adequate reserves for this to happen and no shortage is anticipated.

Improvements to the winter maintenance service provided by The Highland Council were confirmed by the Transport Environmental and Community Service Committee at its meeting on Thursday 19 September 2013..

A review of priority routes has resulted in a 76-mile increase in the length of Priority One routes to 1,319 miles (31% of the network).

Snow gates are to be installed on the Bealach na Ba – the high route to Applecross, Wester Ross – to allow the road to be closed in heavy/drifting snow in the interest of public safety. An alternative coastal route is available.

An improved service on Priority 1 and 2 routes is to be provided on Boxing Day and 2nd January in recognition that they have become busy shopping days.

Three additional snow clearing vehicles – one per operational area – have been sourced for the coming winter.

Sheltered housing footpaths have been included in the schedule of footpath routes and a number of Community Councils have already responded to an offer to provide a self-help snow-clearing service.

Grit bins now have a telephone number displayed to allow the public to request a refill.

 

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