While we are all hoping for a mild winter, East Dunbartonshire Council is ready to respond to dropping temperatures and snow to keep its traffic and pedestrians safe and moving.
The Place, Neighbourhood & Corporate Assets Committee has approved the adoption of the Winter Service Policy for 2018/19 which guides how the Council responds to all cold weather conditions over the winter period including our response to severe weather, be it heavy snow, rain or freezing temperatures.
Last winter saw Council crews work around the clock to deal with the challenging winter weather conditions and they are ready once again to deal with whatever Mother Nature throws at them.
Councillor Susan Murray, Vice-Convener of the PNCA Committee, commended the efforts of both the community and the Council teams last winter and assured residents that the Council is prepared for the coming months' weather.
Councillor Murray said, "Dealing with the effects of snow and ice on our roads is a massive logistical challenge and keeping everything moving is an important task for the Council.
"Last year's prolonged winter weather affected much of Scotland but the people of East Dunbartonshire should know we are well placed and are doing everything in our power to be prepared.
"Our gritting fleet is ready for action at the first sign of the mercury dropping, we have salt supplies stored in our salt dome and our highly experienced teams are on standby 24/7 throughout the winter to keep roads and pavements as snow and ice-free as we possibly can.
"This is not an easy task as conditions change rapidly but our on-call Duty Officer checks a dedicated forecasting service – specific to East Dunbartonshire - three times a day and uses this to make a decision on what action is required to keep our roads safe.
"In addition, the Council has installed road condition sensor stations at various locations across the authority which give information on the current road condition, road surface temperature and the amount of residual salt. This allows us to save money by only gritting when it’s needed and not wasting supplies unnecessarily by being as efficient and effective as possible."
East Dunbartonshire, like all other local authorities, needs to prioritise what roads it treats. There are two categories of gritting route – Primary and Secondary.
The Primary routes cover 67% of East Dunbartonshire’s 514km of road and consist of:
- Main roads
- Bus routes
- Access to fire, police and ambulance stations
- Access to hospitals
- Steep or dangerous roads
- At least one access road to each school
- Main access roads to rural communities
The Secondary routes 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.
Residents can check information about road conditions and gritting plans via the Council's website and social media, with Facebook posts and tweets when the gritters are out and about.
The Council has specialised gritters for footways which are based in strategic locations throughout the East Dunbartonshire area. The main footway routes cover:
- Main shopping areas
- Footways adjacent to community centres and health centres
- Footways near to sheltered housing and schools
- Steep or particularly wet footways that create enhanced risk
If freezing conditions are forecast Primary Footway Routes will be gritted in advance as a precaution.
Councillor Murray added, "Last winter our communities played a vital part in helping keep their areas clear of snow. We all need to be prepared as possible for winter and the Council also makes grit available for residents to use in their own streets, paths and driveways. More than 400 grit bins are placed at strategic locations for people to help themselves. These are for public use and are regularly checked and refilled. If a grit bin near you is empty please phone 0300 123 4510.
"Additional grit is available from Broomhill Depot, Kilsyth Road, Kirkintilloch. This is a facility for members of the public to use, so please bring a shovel and container."
The Council and its partners have arranged a series of information road shows next month to make sure people are fully prepared and have all the information they will need to cope during extreme or prolonged winter weather.