Council prepare for the winter months

Salt mountain in Tayside Contracts yard.
Salt mountain in Tayside Contracts yard.

As the summer days become shorter the local authority is gearing up to make sure it is prepared to keep the roads safe this winter.

In a report to the Infrastructure Services committee earlier this week the importance of keeping the roads clear was highlighted by Alan McKeown, strategic director of communities.

Mr McKeown, said: “The council as Roads Authority has a statutory duty to take such steps as it considers reasonable to keep public roads safe during adverse winter weather.

“Notwithstanding the difficulty in predicting the duration, severity and geographical distribution of winter conditions it is necessary to have a clear policy and an agreed level of service to allow the planning and preparation necessary for the delivery of a winter roads service.”

Once again the council has designated road routes according to how much they are used. These range from priority routes which are given extended winter maintenance coverage and preferential treatment to non-priority routes which are the last to be treated.

When the roads have been cleared the local authority will turn their attention to clearing other areas of importance. These include town centres, areas of public transport, routes to schools, town centre car parks, health care areas, nursing homes and requests from residences and businesses.

The council intend to maximise the effect of their coverage by clearing footways on only one side of the road - it is hoped that this will double the length of footways cleared with the resources available.

A number of issues which were raised after last winter have now been addressed.

The mainline snow blower with tractor attachment has been replaced and two spare mini-footpath tractors have been removed to limit breakdowns.

Improvements currently underway include new methods of salt management, use of pre-wet techniques for the application of salt, reducing the number of priority carriageway gritters from 11 to 10.

It is also planned that three routes will be taken over by farmers to clear rather than Tayside Contracts in order to save funds.

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