Sun shining but Highland Council warning of icy winter blast

A gritter patrolling the roads
A gritter patrolling the roads

The north might be enjoying a late run of good weather but Highland Council is asking people to get ready for the icy blast of winter.

The local authority has 55,000 tonnes of salt in stock, enough for two weeks of the most extreme conditions.

Another 5,000 tonnes of salt have been ordered and due for delivery by November 1.

Arrangements are in place to re-stock during the winter if the rate of use is high. The council’s suppliers have adequate reserves for this to happen and no shortage is anticipated.

The council has 105 gritters and 48 footpath tractors and a snow cutter with 215 staff providing winter maintenance services.

This includes an investment of £2.2m this year on 25 new vehicles for the coming winter.

Councillor Allan Henderson, the council’s community service chairman, said: “It’s been a mild autumn so far and frosty days seem a far off prospect but we all know that conditions can change in the Highlands rapidly.

“We want people to think ahead and be prepared for a change in the temperature and all types of severe weather. Are you ready at home and while travelling for potential hard frosts and snow and do you know how to find out if your school is closed?”

Roads are gritted according to priority. Primary routes are gritted Mondays to Saturdays 6am to 9pm and on Sundays and public holidays from 7am to 9pm. Secondary routes will follow the completion of primary routes and are gritted Mondays to Saturdays from 6am to 6pm within available resources. Other routes are treated as resources permit. In extreme conditions all efforts will be made to keep primary routes clear.