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Aberdeen city council transport boss confident they’ll be able to cope with whatever winter throws at them

Tuesday October 8th 2019 at 9:05 AM


Aberdeen City Council’s transport spokesperson says they’re confident they’ll be able to cope with whatever winter throws at them this year.

A team of around 180 will be poised to grit nearly half of the city’s roads by 7.30am on wintery mornings.

The local authority has unveiled its latest winter maintenance programme, which includes a stockpile of 12,000 tonnes of salt and around 180 staff who are aiming to have nearly half of all the city’s roads gritted by 7.30am.

A budget of £1.523 mil has also been approved to ensure traffic keeps moving around Aberdeen, even in the depths of winter. The full allocation may not be used or can be added to, depending on the severity of the weather.

Gritting operations will get underway on 11 November and will run through to 15 March, with the possibility of an extension depending on road conditions and forecasts.

Workers are planning to have 590 miles, or 47%, of the city’s roads treated before 7.30am – more than the distance from Aberdeen to London. The resources at the city council’s disposal include eight dedicated road gritters, 14 demountable road gritters, 21 pavement gritters (all with snow plough attachment), 90 roads maintenance staff and an extra 90 parks and grounds staff who will carry out much of the pavement gritting, especially near sheltered housing, schools and hospitals.

For the first time ever members of the public will also be able to track road gritters as they drive around the city, allowing them to plan their route accordingly. 

Aberdeen City Council transport spokesperson Councillor Sandra Macdonald said: “Every year our dedicated staff go above and beyond their duty to help people while doing their best in often difficult winter conditions.

“Our early morning gritter drivers are usually driving to work themselves on untreated roads before they start work at 4.45am to ensure the main roads are gritted for most people as they start their day.

“As always, we’re hoping for a mild winter but of course the Scottish climate always means there’s a possibility of snow and ice which can last for long periods.

“We cannot be everywhere around the city at the same time and ask residents to be prepared themselves by carrying out journey planning, ensuring they have the right equipment for their journeys and having an alternative plan for transport if possible.

“We want to keep roads open and residents safe and I’d encourage people to look up information on our website at www.aberdeencity.gov.uk/winter, keep a close check on weather forecasts, plan appropriately and adhere to police and travel advice.”

For the second year running, the council is providing large community salt bins at 20 locations around the city with more to be confirmed, while there are also around 900 grit bins around the city for residents’ use.

In addition, people are being encouraged to apply for a one-tonne community salt bag before the cut-off date of 1 November – more information can be found at www.aberdeencity.gov.uk/winter.

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