Angus MSPs Graeme Dey and Nigel Don visited Tayside Contracts’ gritting depot, by Forfar last week to discuss with management and the local police how drivers can take sensible action to keep the road network open.
The two MSPs met Inspector Grant Edwards of Tayside Police Traffic Section and the Managing Director of Tayside Contracts Iain Waddell.
Mr Edwards, Traffic Inspector for Angus said: “It’s important that motorists take responsibility. There are certain precautions car users can take to ensure an uneventful winter such as making sure your vehicle is serviced, and your vehicle is topped up with the correct type of anti-freeze, top up windscreen washer bottles, keep all of your lights clean, check and replace wiper blades if necessary, and keep tyres correctly inflated.
“Whilst driving increase the gap between you and the vehicle in front - on wet or slippery roads it can take up to 10 times longer to stop. Drop your speed and allow more time to slow down, and stop by decelerating that bit earlier rather than rely on braking alone.
“Drive with care even if you think the roads have been treated. Use dipped headlights so that you can see and be seen. If it is very foggy, that is with less than 100 metres visibility, then use fog lights, but switch them off whenever conditions improve otherwise they will cause undue dazzle, which is an offence.”
Commenting on the visit, Mr Don, MSP for Angus North and Mearns said: “We all want to go off to work on a winters morning expecting the roads to be cleared and gritted, and we miss the fact that it takes a small army of dedicated people to keep the roads clear.
“I urge my constituents to heed advice from the professionals to make sure our cars are in good working order, and this winter let’s keep Angus moving.”
Mr Waddell, managing director of Tayside Contracts said: “We have more than a 1000 miles of roads and pavements to keep clear, and the authority has invested £2.5 million to treat these routes when the temperatures drop.
“In total, the council has 19 000 tonnes of salt stored in Forfar and Arbroath. But I urge car owners to be safe and think of the gritters and the access they require, park sensibly and if possible in a driveway to allow gritters access to your street.”