Caithness and Sutherland prepared for winter
19th November 2013
“The North Highlands are ready for winter” was the message given at the Caithness and Sutherland Area Committee yesterday (18 November 2014) with staff, vehicles and a plentiful supply of salt in place to treat roads and footpaths over the coming winter months.
The Highland Council has increased its winter maintenance budget to £5.6 million this year and has introducing an improved service with 45,500 tonnes of salt in storage in readiness for winter. The average annual usage of salt for Caithness and Sutherland has increased over the last 3 winters and is now approximately 25,000 tonnes.
Area Chairman Councillor Deirdre Mackay added: “Our staff in Caithness and Sutherland do a great job and work extremely hard over the winter months to keep routes open so it is reassuring to know plans are in place for them to spring into action when the bad weather comes. This year’s national Ready For Winter Campaign focuses on being prepared in the community, at home, on the move and in the workplace and gives lots of helpful tips on how we all can be better prepared. I would also like to remind everyone that when Highland experiences severe weather conditions, you can stay informed on school closures and any transport problems by visiting our website www.highland.gov.uk”
Chairman of the Council’s TEC Services Committee, Councillor Graham Phillips said: “We will endeavour to provide the highest level of service possible during the winter but people need to be aware that during severe weather it may not be possible to keep every road free from ice or snow at all times. Today the Winter Maintenance Plan for Caithness and Sutherland was approved which sets out the route priority network and details of these will now be publicised so people are aware of which routes are classed as Primary and will therefore be treated first.
“We have been engaging with communities over the last 6 months to make sure we can be as prepared as possible and to promote our community self-help scheme with local contractors on standby to provide additional resources if needed. Ensuring all the grit bins are kept topped up with salt is also a priority so bins will have a telephone number printed on them so people can call us if more supplies are needed. 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 target treatment times for completion of routes during conditions of ice and light snow are:
Monday - Saturday
Primary Routes 8.30am
Secondary Routes 9.00am
Other As resources and conditions permit
Sundays, 25th/26th Dec & 1st/2nd Jan
Primary Routes 9.30am
Maps showing all the routes for the area will be available from the Council’s website www.highland.gov.uk/gritting.
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