Highland Council has taken delivery of 10 new snow ploughs for the upcoming winter.
The new gritters were needed to replace some of the authority’s ageing fleet and have been placed in locations across the Highlands.
They will complement the council’s existing winter fleet that includes 99 gritters, 42 footpath tractors, two snowblowers with over 200 staff ready to provide winter maintenance services.
Councillor Trish Robertson, chairwoman of the economy and infrastructure committee, was given a test drive in one of the newly-purchased snow ploughs.
She 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 4,200 miles of roads for which the council has responsibility.
Councillor 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.