As the summer days become shorter the local authority is gearing up to make sure they are prepared to keep the roads safe this winter.
In a report to the infrastructure services committee earlier this week the importance of keeping the roads clear was highlighted by Alan McKeown, strategic director of communities.
Mr McKeown, said: “The council, as roads authority, has a statutory duty to take such steps as it considers reasonable to keep public roads safe during adverse winter weather.”
The council has designated road routes according to how much they are used. These range from priority routes which are given extended winter maintenance coverage and preferential treatment to non-priority routes which are the last to be treated.
When the roads have been cleared the local authority will turn their attention to clearing other areas of importance. These include town centres, areas of public transport, routes to schools, town centre car parks, health care areas, nursing homes and requests from residences and businesses.
The council intend to maximise the effect of their coverage by clearing footways on only one side of the road - it is hoped that this will double the length of footways cleared with the resources available.
A number of issues which were raised after last winter have now been addressed. The mainline snow blower with tractor attachment has been replaced and two spare mini-footpath tractors have been removed.
Improvements currently underway include new methods of salt management, use of pre-wet techniques for the application of salt, and reducing the number of priority carriageway gritters from 11 to 10.