Dingwall and Seaforth’s winter maintenance plan has been approved by the Highland Council committee as priority treatment of the region’s roads is set out and communities are urged to ‘help each other’

A sandpit crosses the roads of North Kessock. File photo: Gary Anthony.

A WINTER maintenance plan for the Dingwall and Seaforth area has been approved by local councillors.

The approved plan includes a roadmap of priority blasting routes.

Across Ross and Cromarty there are 29 available frontline pits and 11 curb tractors. Of these, six pits serve the Dingwall and Seaforth area.

The processing of routes will be carried out according to a hierarchical system depending on the priority of the routes:

  • Primary (highest) – Treated from 6am to 9pm Monday to Saturday, generally covering all Class A and some Class B roads and including major commuter routes in major urban areas.
  • Secondary – Processed mainly after the completion of the primary network between 6am and 6pm Monday to Saturday and covering routes which generally connect smaller communities to the primary network. On bus routes, sanding will not necessarily be complete before the buses begin their journeys.
  • Other – These are minor rural and local access roads and residential roads. These routes are processed as resources become available.

The total lengths of each of the priority blast roads in the Dingwall and Seaforth area are:

  • Primary – 35.6 km (representing 27% of the district’s total road network);
  • Secondary – 58.4 km (representing 45% of the district’s total road network); and
  • Other – 35 km (representing 28% of the district’s total road network)

The time required to complete route processing “will vary from day to day depending on actual weather conditions and is expected to increase significantly during snowy periods due to snow clearing on both sides of the road.”

On the December 25 and January 1 holidays, service will operate between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. and will be limited to the mainline only. During periods of heavy snow, or when heavy snow conditions are forecast, service can be extended to include difficult back roads.

On December 26 and January 2, service will be provided between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. and processing will be limited to the primary and secondary networks only. Where December 26 and January 2 fall on a Saturday or Sunday, standard weekend service will be provided.

The council also encourages communities to “help each other” as much as possible and raise awareness of people within their community who may need help from their neighbors with snow and ice removal or possibly shopping or accessing services. health and social in extreme weather conditions.

Community mutual aid is also encouraged through the council’s Winter Resilience Scheme, which allows communities to submit an application through their community council to carry out pavement sanding operations in an agreed area. The council will provide the community with salt/gravel, trash cans, scrapers and reflective vests.

Salting, says the advice, will not prevent roads from icing up in extreme conditions – this is particularly relevant on lightly trafficked roads where there is insufficient vehicle movement to facilitate the interaction between salt and ice crystals . Residents are therefore reminded that:

  • Drivers should consider weather and road conditions
  • Winter weather in the Highlands can be very localized
  • Black ice can be a particular hazard. You cannot see it and it may still be there even after treatment
  • Dawn frosts can also surprise drivers. At the first light, clear skies will allow heat to radiate off the road surface quickly, causing icy patches to form on wet or damp roads.

Dingwall and Seaforth area committee chairman Cllr Graham Mackenzie said: ‘Members of the public are reminded that they can request self-help assistance through the community councils for salt/gravel pits, scrapers and reflective vests where they feel it is most needed in their communities. It is important to note that this does not replace the service provided by the council but allows the community to provide an enhanced level of service.

Applications for the Winter Resilience Scheme can be submitted at: https://www.highland.gov.uk/downloads/download/836/winter_resilience_community_aid

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