Council urges people to plan ahead for winter journeys

Councillor Rory Colville.
Councillor Rory Colville, policy lead for roads and infrastructure services.

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Argyll and Bute Council’s winter roads’ maintenance plan is now up and running to tackle the worst of the cold weather ahead.

People can help keep themselves safe by following the council’s daily action plan to keep up-to-date with what overnight road conditions are likely to be and what the gritting schedule is, helping people to prepare for the following morning. Details are on the council website at www.argyll-bute.gov.uk/winter

When freezing conditions are forecast the council has 33 gritters to pre-treat more than 750 miles of road, more than 50 per cent of the entire network. This is the equivalent of driving from Lochgilphead to Paris.

The council is also grateful to have a network of local contractors which can be mobilised in emergencies.

The routes are determined in order of priority, with resources focused on the roads which carry the greatest amount of traffic. The roads team works diligently to this strict programme.

A council spokesperson said: ‘Keeping our roads clear takes careful planning. We have a team of people who analyse local weather forecast data so we know by the end of each day what we need to do to make sure the roads are treated appropriately the following morning.’

Councillor Rory Colville, policy lead for roads and infrastructure services, said: ‘This is my first chance as policy lead to pay tribute to our roads workers. They are up, in the early hours when it’s cold and icy, to start making roads safe for the rest of us.

‘I’d still urge everyone to think about their own safety and plan ahead. This year, even more than others, council resources may be stretched to the limit because of Covid-19.

‘Check the roads before you leave home. You can find live-event road cameras, our daily action plan which includes our gritting schedule, and our adverse weather plans on our website. Please make use of this information.

‘Follow our Facebook and Twitter for extra information.’

The council is also urging people to consider if, in very bad weather, their journeys are absolutely necessary.