December 14, 2022
By Aileen Maclennan
Argyll and Bute Council’s winter roads’ maintenance plan is now up and running to tackle the worst of the cold weather ahead.
You can help keep yourself safe by following the council’s daily action plan so you know what overnight road conditions are likely to be and what our gritting schedule is. That way, you can prepare for the following morning. Details are available on the council website: www.argyll-bute.gov.uk/winter.
The council has 32 gritting routes to pre-treat spread over 750 miles of road when freezing conditions are forecast – that is over 50% of the entire network. This is the equivalent of driving from Lochgilphead to Paris. We also provide roadside salt piles and salt bins at strategic locations for public use and are very grateful to have a network of local contractors who can be mobilised in emergencies.
The routes are determined in order of priority, with resources focused on the roads that carry the greatest amount of traffic. Our roads team works diligently to this strict programme and will treat other roads where possible, but this dependent on resources.
Keeping Argyll and Bute’s roads clear takes careful planning. The council has a dedicated team who analyse local weather forecast data so we know by the end of each day what we need to do to make sure we treat the roads appropriately the following morning.
Councillor Andrew Kain, Policy Lead for Policy Lead for Roads and Transport, said: “I want to begin by taking the opportunity to thank our hard-working roads team who go out at all hours, and in all weather conditions, to grit our roads network and keep motorists safe in Argyll and Bute.
“We’ve witnessed temperatures plummet over the last few weeks, so I would like to urge everyone to think about their own safety before setting off on a journey, and take a few moments to plan ahead.
“Although we grit as many roads as possible, the main routes always take priority. It is also worth noting that the salt does not actually melt the ice on the road; it mixes with the moisture on the ground to create a saline that has a lower freezing temperature than water. This only starts to work as the salt breaks down due to traffic going over it to break it up. This means that, even although we may have treated the roads, the surface can still be very icy until this process has time to work, and we would urge people to continue to drive with caution.
“We have a number of useful resources on our website that can help you plan before you leave home. These include live-event road cameras, our daily action plan, which includes our gritting schedule, and our adverse weather plans. I would urge people to make the most of these to help plan a safe journey.”
In very bad weather, think about whether you absolutely have to make that journey. ROSPA has a useful factsheet on being prepared for winter driving on its website here: http://bit.ly/2RjY5pB.
For more information on the council’s adverse weather plans go to: http://bit.ly/2R9WkL
The link to our road cameras is www.argyll-bute.gov.uk/content/road-cameras