Focus now on winter roads

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Last winter Aberdeenshire Council says it repaired over 20,000 potholes during the critical winter months, completing nearly the same number again in summer.

Attention has turned to preparations for winter maintenance with round 1,660km of Aberdeenshire’s roads are identified as a priority network for winter treatment.

Four new 4x4 gritters have been added to the fleet, staff rotas for crews have been drawn up and the winter maintenance operations room is ready to go.

In common with many public agencies, the council has been ensuring salt and grit is fully-stocked, inspecting vehicles and reviewing procedures.

It starts this winter with double last year’s level of salt stocks and an additional £3m has been transferred to the Winter and Other Emergencies Fund.

The winter fleet includes 92 vehicles fitted with gritters, ploughs or snow blowers, along with 52 footpath gritters/ploughs. During the worst of the winter weather this work can involve over 300 staff.

Council staff are also supported by up to 120 tractors operated by farmers, with blades supplied by the council, and 32 ploughs operated by contractors.

Chairman of Aberdeenshire Council’s Infrastructure Services Committee, Peter Argyle, said: “It’s vital we continue to manage and maintain the road network across Aberdeenshire to the standards we have achieved in the past. I am confident that we have the resources, ability and experience, of both adverse weather and roads maintenance, to do just that.

“Despite last year’s weather we performed well, and given all the preparations I know have taken place so far, we are very well placed to respond to the challenge of the upcoming winter.”

Vice chair Jill Webster added: “Members of the public can help us maintain the best possible roads network by reporting faults and assist community resilience by doing what they can to be prepared for winter. Anyone who is interested should look at the Ready Aberdeenshire website for more information.”

Infrastructure Services committee recently approved amendments to the council’s roads winter maintenance operational plan, with Cllr Argyle commenting: “I think this puts us in a very strong position for the winter that may, or may not, be before us.”

Road defects can also be reported by text to: 07624 802 722. You should include a reason for texting (e.g. road defect), as detailed as possible a description and a specific location. To report any faults by telephone call 08456 08 12 05.