Issued: 23 October 2012
Angus Gets Ready For Winter
Angus Council has unveiled its plans to keep the county moving during winter.
The council has responsibility for the maintenance of more than 1000 miles of road and pavements.
This year the authority has invested £2.5 million to treat these routes when the temperatures drop.
Six new pieces of specialist plant have been purchased, bringing the fleet of vehicles available to tackle the elements in Angus to 71, including gritters, snow cutters/blowers and footway tractors.
Last year, the council built a new £320,000 storage facility at Kirriemuir Road in Forfar to help it manage its salt stocks more effectively.
Keeping the rock salt under cover prevents it being exposed to rain, reducing waste through dilution and potential harm to the environment.
In total, the council has 19000 tonnes of salt stored in Forfar and Arbroath.
The council's roads spokesperson Mairi Evans said: “The council invests significant funds to provide snow clearing and gritting during the winter. This year we have even more salt and plant available to keep the county moving should bad weather strike.”
Councillor Evans pointed out that while the council and its partners plan ahead to protect services in the county during winter, the public can play their part in travelling safely.
“When temperatures fall, the main message is consider carefully the weather conditions and to take sensible precautions when driving. Road conditions can change very rapidly,” she said.
"In extreme conditions everyday life can be disrupted. It is not always possible for the council to keep every route free of snow and ice at all times. Our vehicles require to stop and refill and refuel, and can't deal with every road at once.
"Even when roads have been salted it takes some time for the salt to become effective. Rain and sleet can wash salt from the road leaving it prone to icing again and when it is really cold salt will not stop ice from forming.”
"We can all minimise the impact by thinking now about preparing for winter, and taking some basic steps to be ready at home, at work and while travelling."
The council’s winter maintenance programme is carried out on its behalf by Tayside Contracts, whose managing director Iain Waddell said: “Our vehicles and drivers are all ready for whatever winter weather will bring. The public can help us, particularly in snow conditions, to maximise the areas we can treat by ensuring that, where possible, they park their vehicles off the road or in areas where they will not stop our vehicles from getting through.”
The council's winter maintenance service divides routes into three priority categories.
Category 1 routes
These routes carry most traffic so are treated before all other routes – included are bus and commuter routes and the roads that serve hospitals, ambulance and fire centres, schools and main industrial centres. These routes will be opened up before other routes, and kept open during prolonged periods of snow.
Category 2 routes
A number of routes, which although carrying less traffic than those in category 1, have been identified as being particularly prone to icing - they are generally glen or high level routes.
Category 3 routes
These routes are only treated after category 1 routes have been treated and are treated later than category 1 and 2 routes. During prolonged snow conditions, these routes are only dealt with after category 1 and 2 routes have been cleared.
The treatment of pavements and footpaths is categorised in a similar way, with priority given to main routes in towns and larger villages.
The A90 which is a trunk road and the A92 in Angus, are treated round the clock by Bear Scotland
Residents can support the council by clearing the pavement outside their own properties where possible. There are around 600 grit bins provided across Angus and residents are asked to make use of these to treat their streets and pavements. These bins can be topped up by calling the council's ACCESSline on 08452 777 778.
For more information on the winter maintenance programme, visit www.angus.gov.uk/wintermaintenance. Leaflets are also available from council offices, libraries, police stations and some filling stations.
Information on preparing for severe weather is available via the council's website at www.angus.gov.uk/readyangus. During severe weather, regular updates on council services will be available at www.angus.gov.uk/winterwatch. Updates will also be available via Twitter @anguscouncil, and facebook.com/anguscouncil.