East Dunbartonshire Council is ready to respond to the challenges of the coming winter in order to keep its traffic and pedestrians safe and moving.
The Council's Winter Service Policy for 2021/22 guides how the Council responds to cold weather conditions over the winter period including our response to severe weather, be it heavy snow, rain or freezing temperatures.
Council crews are on call 24/7 to deal with the winter weather conditions and Joint Council Leader Andrew Polson has assured residents that the Council is prepared for any challenges ahead.
Councillor Polson said, "Whilst we are all hoping for a mild winter, the people of East Dunbartonshire should know we are well placed for whatever the weather throws at us.
"I know there have been concerns raised about a shortage of gritter drivers across the country. Let me assure you that we have salt supplies stored in our salt dome and our highly experienced teams will be on standby throughout the winter to keep roads and pavements as snow and ice-free as we possibly can."
Joint Council Leader Vaughan Moody added, "Our gritting service is provided by the drivers already within our Roads Service team and we do not currently rely on drivers from outwith the Council.
"In addition, our gritters are fitted with route navigation and automated gritting equipment to provide resilience should we ever need to call on other drivers across the authority or external support to assist.”
However, while restrictions have eased, the Council has still had to plan for the potential impact that COVID-19 may have on the delivery of the service.
Councillor Polson said, "We have established safety control measures and amended our operational procedures to respond to any potential restrictions placed upon the service as a result of the pandemic.
"Whilst these will help mitigate the impact we must also be realistic about the possibility of a larger outbreak of the virus and the effect that may have on the resources available to deliver the service."
The policy - available on the Council's website - details how East Dunbartonshire prioritises what roads it treats and when.
Councillor Moody explained, "Primary routes - including main roads, bus routes, access to hospitals, fire, police and ambulance stations and at least one access road to each school -are cleared first before we move on to our Secondary routes.
"These include all other roads within the authority such as local and general access roads, less used industrial roads and cul-de-sacs, which are only salted during prolonged periods of adverse weather and when resources allow."
The Council also has specialised gritters for footways which are based in strategic locations throughout the East Dunbartonshire area. If freezing conditions are forecast Primary Footway Routes will be gritted in advance as a precaution.
Residents have done a fantastic job in recent years in helping keep their areas clear of snow and Councillor Polson assured communities that the Council would continue to make grit available for use on their streets and paths to help people be prepared as possible for winter.
Councillor Polson added, "More than 450 grit bins are placed at strategic locations for people to help themselves. If a grit bin near you is empty please phone 0300 123 4510. Additional grit will also be available from Broomhill Depot, Kilsyth Road, Kirkintilloch."
Residents can check information about gritting plans via the Council's website at https://www.eastdunbarton.gov.uk/gritting.