Pictured: Cllr Trish Robertson and the Council’s Transport and Logistics Manager Mike Cooper are photographed with two of the new snow ploughs.
The Highland Council has invested in 10 new winter gritting vehicles to replace some of the ageing fleet, which are ready to be deployed as soon as they are needed.
The new vehicles, which have been dispatched across the Highlands, complement the Council’s existing winter fleet that includes 99 gritters, 42 footpath tractors, 2 snowblowers with over 200 staff ready to provide winter maintenance services.
Chair of the Council’s Economy and Infrastructure Committee, Councillor Trish Robertson who was given a test drive in one of the newly purchased snow ploughs said:
“Modernising our fleet by buying the new vehicles is an investment that will help us provide our communities with an efficient and reliable service over the coming winter months.
“These new top-of-the range vehicles have all the equipment to make them as efficient as possible when carrying out the work.”
The winter roads maintenance budget for 2020/21 is £5 million which will be used to look after the 6,766km of roads for which the Council has responsibility.
Cllr Robertson added:
“All preparations have been made and crews across the Highlands are ready to start the winter service as soon as required.
“The new fleet of snow ploughs will have an important role in making sure we are able to provide our communities with the best service we can within the resources available.”
There have been no changes to this year’s winter policy so service levels throughout the local Areas will remain, essentially, unchanged from last year.
The service will commence at 6am each day as and when required.
There will be a Monday to Friday service in which all roads are treated and a weekend service which includes treatment of all the Primary routes, strategic Secondary routes and difficult ‘Other’ routes.
The service will be provided within the resources available and as weather conditions permit.
Details of the council’s highland wide and local area gritting policies and maps are on the council’s website here.
As in previous years, Highland Council is offering assistance to communities who wish to take action in their own area to help clear snow and ice from footpaths but providing salt in either bins or heaps, snow shovels and pushers, gloves and hi-viz vests, Health and Safety advice to volunteers and public liability insurance.
Full guidance and an application Form can be found on the Council’s website.