By Aileen MacLennan
Argyll and Bute Council are not being fooled by the scorching weather in the West Highlands right now.
The members have agreed £2 million of measures to keep people moving this winter.
At a meeting of the Council’s Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee, councillors agreed the 2023 Winter Service Policy, which sets out priorities for treating the area’s roads network when bad weather kicks in.
Key elements of the policy include making sure there are sufficient numbers of gritters and supplies of salt available, operating an efficient weather forecasting service, ensuring roads are treated quickly and effectively, and warning the travelling public when routes are unsuitable for use due to severe conditions.
As in previous years, in some locations, additional information and diversion signs will be erected to inform drivers of the hazardous conditions on some roads and advise them of alternative routes.
Councillor Andrew Kain, pictured left, the council’s Policy Lead for Roads and Transport, said: “Our winter policy has been designed to ensure that, wherever possible, our communities will continue to have access to lifeline routes and the wider road network.
“We have 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, and 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 unpredictability of the Scottish weather and the breadth of the network means that will always be a challenging task but, despite the ongoing cost pressures, we are investing considerable resources to ensure that we keep Argyll and Bute running throughout the winter.”