The summer sun was fun while it lasted, but the countdown to winter begins this weekend when the clocks are turned back an hour.
British Summer Time ends at 2am on Sunday (28 October) and our winter maintenance plans are firmly in place, with our roads team ready to protect Angus road users from the worst effects of travelling in bad weather and falling temperatures.
With a winter operational budget of more than £2.6 million aimed at keeping traffic and communities moving, we have about 19,000 tonnes of salt to stock our gritters, as well as the 600 or so grit bins in our communities.
Our roads team worked tirelessly last winter through the worst that the Beast from the East threw at the county to try and keep priority routes open and had tremendous support from council colleagues, partner agencies, community groups and, best of all, the public.
While we hope the winter climate is not as extreme this time around, we are confident that the collective response will match last winter’s effort if required.
Grit bins are there for you to use. They are situated in publicly adopted areas and stocked with a mix of salt and sand. You can request a re-fill for an existing grit bin by contacting our ACCESSLine or via our dedicated pages, which have lots of information about grit bin locations and finding and re-filling a grit bin.
Our website has a wealth of valuable information about winter gritting and snow clearing as well as information about priority roads and routes. We’d encourage you to check them out as there have been changes this year to footway gritting routes. In the event of severe weather, we will keep you updated on council services on our Weather Watch page and through Twitter and Facebook.
During severe weather, we strive to keep our roads and footpaths clear during operating hours that can cover up to 18 hours each day (between 5am and 11pm). The intention is to deploy and use resources in the most efficient, effective and economic way, giving priority to the key and most-used roads and footways.
Gritting a road does not give a green light to drivers to drive as though conditions were normal. Drivers must always drive according to the conditions and circumstances around them.
Once scattered, salt takes time to act. It is actually helped by traffic on the road. But it is not a cure-all. At very low temperatures (-5°C and below) it is less effective. That is why it is so important for drivers (and pedestrians) to always be alert to the conditions and what is happening around them.
Vehicles must be fit for winter. Carry essential emergency equipment with you, such as a shovel, warm clothing, blanket, boots, some food and a warm drink in a flask…just in case. If you must make a journey in difficult conditions please plan ahead by checking our Weather Watch page. Listen to local radio for road closure updates. The police have the final say in deciding when to close a road to traffic and will keep the media informed.
Ready Scotland also has lots of information about how you can be prepared for winter whether at home, work, or when you are out and about. And please remember to look out for elderly or more vulnerable family members, friends and neighbours.