Winter maintenance crews ready to work through the big chill
Aberdeen City Council is gearing up to tackle ice and snow on the city's roads and footpaths as winter approaches.
The full Winter Maintenance Plan will commence in November, but the crews are ready now to tackle any problems.
Roads staff are monitoring the weather forecast daily and will arrange for any necessary action to be taken. Overnight salting and snow clearing work will be carried out as required.
The council is starting the winter with a full supply of salt, almost 17,000 tonnes, and further deliveries are on order to see us through the winter period. The roads team will, of weather conditions allow, be trialling the use of a product called Eco-Thaw, which may be useful in dealing with thick ice and compacted snow.
All 900 of the city's grit bins are in the process of being filled a major exercise which would take a two man crew the equivalent of 38 working weeks to complete. Businesses and members of the public are reminded that they are welcome to use the grit in these bins, but it should be used only on public roads and footpaths. It is not for use on private property or business premises. If a grit box needs to be refilled, please call 08456 080919 or call 01224 241511 and leave a message, stating the location of the box, or use the Report It link on the city council website at www.aberdeencity.gov.uk We will refill it as soon as we can.
Council employees carry out salting and snow clearing work on city roads on a priority basis. Further information is available in the council's Winter Services Plan 2012-13 at www.aberdeencity.gov.uk/web/files//Roads/winter_service_plan.pdf
Please bear in mind that all roads cannot be treated simultaneously. If there is a particular problem on a road, please call the Aberdeen City Council contact centre on 08456 080919. Problems can also be reported using the Report It link on the city council website at www.aberdeencity.gov.uk Please do not call the depot.
Aberdeen City Council general manager operations Mike Cheyne said: "Over the past few years we've had a good response from the community during the winter and people appear to be preparing better for it.
"Simple steps like making sure you've got enough supplies in, including medication, non-perishable food, salt or grit for use on your own paths and steps, and winter tyres for your vehicles; that your pipes insulated and fuel supplies are topped up, can make a huge difference especially if conditions are particularly harsh. Now is the time to start getting organised."
Motorists are reminded to drive according to the conditions, and are asked to be patient while salting and snow clearing work is carried out. The worst time to tackle any snowfall is during the peak periods with the gritters and snowploughs being stuck in traffic queues. To combat this, salting and snow clearing work will routinely begin in the early hours to avoid being caught up in the peak traffic movements, but unfortunately we cannot dictate the weather pattern.
Mr Cheyne added: "We have thanked motorists in the past for co-operating and working with us through some of the difficult periods of the winter and we look forward to enjoying that level of co-operation again this winter.
"As ever, we would ask drivers to treat gritters and snowploughs as 'emergency vehicles' during periods of bad weather and to allow them to get through the traffic so that they can get on with the job of treating the roads as quickly as possible."
The council will also be using Twitter and Facebook to offer advice and keep city residents up-to-date with conditions in Aberdeen.
Local and national TV and radio stations and text services provide a useful source of information for motorists and travellers during inclement weather conditions and the Met Office provides a weather warning service, which you can subscribe to on the Met Office website at www.metoffice.gov.uk
For general information on main and trunk roads visit the Traffic Scotland website at www.trafficscotland.org
The Scottish Government has created a website to help people prepare for the winter weather. The Ready Scotland site, at www.ReadyScotland.org contains practical advice and the simple steps people can take to protect themselves, their families, their communities and their businesses from the worst effects of all kinds of bad weather.
Scottish Water is offering online advice to help customers keep their properties safe this winter, at www.scottishwater.co.uk/winter